The Fourth of July week brought plenty of MLS action with plenty of fireworks on and off the field.
With a full slate of games spread across a busy midweek period, there was plenty to dissect and digest throughout the Independence Day period. Several big name stars stepped up and several stunning goals found the back of the net, leaving plenty to discuss ahead of the Gold Cup break.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the Best of MLS from Week 19:
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
There were a number of contenders this week, but Clint Dempsey’s efforts for the Seattle Sounders stood out in a big way. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward provided two goals and an assist, helping lead the Sounders to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. His first goal started the party while his assist to Will Bruin proved the game-winner. With moments remaining, Dempsey chipped Tim Howard to ice the match and seal SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.
Dempsey narrowly beat out fellow goalscorers Josef Martinez and Sebastian Giovinco for this week’s recognition.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Real Salt Lake’s season has been less than spectacular, but Mike Petke’s team certainly looked good in their match against the LA Galaxy. It was a 6-2 road beatdown, as RSL traveled to the StubHub Center and put a whooping on a weakened Galaxy side. Four goals in 18 minutes is impressive, and it was just impressive enough to be named SBI MLS Team of the Week.
Also in the running were FC Dallas, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Several rookies stepped up during the holiday week, but Jake Nerwinski’s late assist was huge en route to a Vancouver Whitecaps win. The former UConn fullback’s cross was pinpoint, finding the head of Yordy Reyna for a last-minute game-winning goal.
Nerwinski topped goalscorer Ian Harkes and fellow assist-provider Julian Gressel for the honors.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Bradley Wright-Phillip’s missile off a wonderful sequence narrowly topped Diego Rubio’s stunner and Sebastian Giovinco’s free kick for Goal of the Week recognition.