MLS team of the week: ex-Aston Villa and West Brom man gets in with first league goal

Former Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell was one of the star performers this week in MLS, grabbing his first league goal since joining the Portland Timbers in late-June.

GK – Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City)

The 21-year-old homegrown keeper was making his first league start, after injuries to Eric Kornberg and Andy Gruenebaum, and came up with a couple of excellent saves to help KC claim an impressive 4-1 home win over Toronto.

RB – Akira Kaji (Chivas USA)

Signed in late-June from Gamba Osaka, the former Japanese international has had few problems settling into MLS since, with another solid outing in his side’s 0-0 draw against Vancouver.

CB – Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew)

After his impressive World Cup with Costa Rica, Gonzalez’s form has carried over into MLS, with a rock-solid defensive effort and late goal in the Crew’s 4-1 upset win over LA.

CB – Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers)

Ridgewell scored his first MLS goal in outstanding fashion to equalise against New England, while also putting in another stellar performance at centre-back to earn his side a 1-1 draw on the road.

LB – Taylor Kemp (DC United)

In just his second start of the season, Kemp proved his worth as a 2013 SuperDraft first-round pick with two assists to help defeat Colorado 4-2.

CM – Luke Mulholland (Real Salt Lake)

The Englishman has been one of the surprise packages of this season, with a goal and assist on the weekend earning his side a crucial 2-1 win over Seattle to send them top of the Western Conference.

CM – Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew)

Another member of the Crew’s lineup to shine this weekend, Tchani did a fantastic job in the holding role against an in-form LA side, but also helped out in attack to pick up an assist on the night.

RW – Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)

Castillo has been on a tear in recent weeks but his performance in the 5-0 thumping of San Jose was perhaps his best of the season, complimenting his talismanic outing with a brace and assist.

AM – Luis Silva (DC United)

With DC missing main man Eddie Johnson for the Colorado clash, Silva filled the void with two excellent finishes in the 4-2 win, as his side continue to exorcise the demons of 2013's last-place finish.

LW – Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake)

Netting his 11th goal of the season in the win against Seattle, the diminutive forward could well have made himself a surprise MVP candidate with his recent performances for Salt Lake.

ST – Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas)

Akindele is making a serious bid for Rookie of the Year honours, scoring his first career hat-trick against San Jose, as the partnership between him and Castillo continues to produce outstanding results.

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