MLS team of the week: Arsenal-linked teenager shows his potential

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Vancouver Whitecaps winger Kekuta Manneh was among the star performers in MLS this past week, grabbing the lone goal in an upset win over the Seattle Sounders.

GK – Andy Gruenebaum (Sporting Kansas City)

Six outstanding saves helped the reigning MLS Cup champions clinch a post-season spot with a 2-0 home win over the Chicago Fire.

RB – Sean Franklin (D.C. United)

The marauding full-back came up with two assists on the weekend as United dispatched Houston 3-1 to edge closer to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

CB – Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)

The imposing Costa Rican has been a revelation since arriving in Vancouver in August, with his latest performance helping Carl Robinson’s side to a crucial 1-0 win on the road to the in-form Seattle.

CB – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

After experiencing a noticeable dip in form following the World Cup, the US international has bounced back in recent weeks to put in a second-straight star outing in the win against Chicago.

LB – Taylor Kemp (D.C. United)

The rookie notched his first MLS goal on the weekend, while also putting in a solid defensive shift to ensure that both United full-backs make the 11.

CM – Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

The U.S. hopeful once again ran the show in the midfield for the Red Bulls this past week, even getting on the scoresheet in the 3-1 home win over Toronto to give Jurgen Klinsmann a hint of what he could offer the stars and stripes.

CM – Sebastian Velasquez (Real Salt Lake)

Filling in for talisman Javier Morales, the diminutive midfielder was RSL’s most dangerous attacker in the 2-0 win against San Jose, grabbing his first career goal to demonstrate his undoubted promise.

RW – Andres Escobar (FC Dallas)

The on-loan Colombian came up big in a shock 2-1 win over table-toppers LA, helping to set up both goals to push the home side into the post-season for the first time since 2011.

AM – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

While his two goals in the 3-0 win over San Jose were a spot-kick and straightforward rebound, both were a just reward for what was another fine creative performance from the Argentine.

LW – Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps)

While he hasn’t quite pushed on as some had hoped after a breakout finish to his rookie campaign, the Gambian sensation showed in the win over Seattle that reported interest from the likes of Arsenal is indeed warranted, grabbing the lone goal of the game and giving the opposition defence all kinds of trouble.

ST – Marco Di Vaio (Montreal Impact)

The soon-to-retire Italian proved he still has something left in the tank, bagging a brace in Montreal’s 2-2 draw with New England at the Stade Saputo.

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