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Best of MLS: Pulido, Toronto FC, and more


Sporting KC snapped a two-match losing streak on Saturday with striker Alan Pulido scoring his first goals since July.

Pulido scored a brace in SKC’s 2-1 road victory over West rivals Houston Dynamo, handing Peter Vermes’ side a major boost in the race for a playoff spot. The Mexican striker was a handful for the Dynamo backline, scoring in each half at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Toronto FC remained well in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference after extending its unbeaten run to five matches. Greg Vanney’s squad fought back to down the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in East Hartford, Connecticut, drawing level with the Columbus Crew on 31 points.

Who were the best performers in MLS this week? Here’s a look at SBI’s picks for the league’s best over the weekend.

Player of the Week

Pulido registered his first multi-goal game for Sporting KC, scoring in the 34th and 73rd minutes of a 2-1 win over Houston. He also completed 84% of his passes in the match while also winning seven of his 12 duels. Pulido will miss the next two matches after being called up to the Mexican National Team for a pair of European friendlies.

The Atlanta United’s Jon Gallagher, LAFC’s Bradley Wright-Phillips, and NYCFC’s Alexander Ring also merited consideration for this weekend’s top honor.

Team of the Week

Toronto FC made it three straight wins against Eastern Conference opponents after a 2-1 home triumph over the Philadelphia Union. Despite conceding early at Rentschler Field, TFC hit back with a pair of second-half goals from Ayo Akinola and Alejandro Pozuelo to earn a comeback victory TFC are tied with the Crew on 31 points, but remain in second place on goal difference.

San Jose Earthquakes, Orlando City, and the NYCFC were all in consideration for the weekend’s honors after picking up three points of their own.

Rookie of the Week

Orlando City forward Daryl Dike earned Rookie of the Week honors after scoring the first goal in a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Dike got the start for the Lions and played 79 minutes, helping Oscar Pareja’s side extend its unbeaten run to nine matches. He won nine of his 15 duels in the match and also drew three fouls from his striker position.

Dike edged New England Revolution defender Henry Kessler for this week’s honor.

Goal of the Week

Atlanta United rolled to a dominant 4-0 win over struggling D.C. United and Brooks Lennon was the Five Stripes Player of the Match for his performance. Not only did Lennon register two assists, but he scored from a wicked left-footed effort. Lennon beat Bill Hamid top shelf in what proved to be a deserved three points for the visitors.

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