It may seem odd for a second-half substitute who only played 21 minutes to win an MLS Player of the Week Award, but it is what Kenny Mansally did in this 21 minutes that made all the difference for him and the New England Revolution this week.
The Revs were being dominated by D.C. United at RFK Stadium, but the match remain scoreless when Mansally entered, and the Gambian striker made the home team pay for its inability to score by netting two goals of his own to help New England record a shocking 2-0 triumph.
Mansally's performance was one of several quality efforts this week, from Edson Buddle's brace in Chivas USA's victory, to Tim Ream's rock-solid defensive effort in New York's upset of Seattle, but Mansally's scoring tough, particularly on his brilliant second goal, gave him the edge in my book.
As for the rest of this week's top MLS performers? Here is this week's SBI MLS Best XI:
SBI MLS Best XI (Week Two)
Brad Davis——-Pat Phelan—–Joel Lindpere——-Landon Donovan
—Tim Ream—-Omar Gonzalez—Mike Petke——Sean Franklin—-
HONORABLE MENTION– Bouna Coundoul, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Bobby Boswell, Cory Gibbs, Roy Miller, Kevin Alston, Osvaldo Alonso, Javier Morales, Steve Zakuani, Collins John, Omar Cummings.
Some thoughts on this week's selections:
The Galaxy's domination of Chivas USA is well-represented here, with Gonzalez among the four selections. Gonzalez is looking like an MLS Best XI candidate for the season right now.
Joel Lindpere didn't score a goal this week, but his work in helping the Red Bulls win the battle in midfield against the Sounders was thoroughly impressive.
Mike Petke gets the nod, and while Ream is looking like a Defender of the Year candidate as a rookie, Petke has also put together a pair of strong performances to start the season.
Burpo was brought in as a stop-gap for New England for the injured Matt Reis, but he looked good vs. D.C. United and should help keep the Revs in good shape until Reis returns.
Revs fans had to be disappointed to see Jeff Larentowicz leave, but Pat Phelan showed why he just might be able to fill his shoes.
Osvaldo Alonso's team was on the losing end, but his work was impressive nonetheless and he came very close to making this squad.
What did you think of this week's selections? Who was your player of the week? Which player didn't make this week's Best XI that you thought was deserving?
Share your thoughts below.