MLS team of the week: Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey make fast starts

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The former Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur forwards both bagged braces for their sides on the opening weekend of the 2015 MLS season.

GK – Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo)

Houston’s new number one came up huge on Saturday night to earn head coach Owen Coyle his first three points in MLS, making six saves as the home side somehow claimed a 1-0 win over a dominant Columbus Crew side.

RB – Tyrone Mears (Seattle Sounders)

Signed to replace Tottenham Hotspur-bound DeAndre Yedlin, the former Bolton Wanderers man showed few signs of struggle in his MLS bow, providing the assist for Obafemi Martins’ goal as the Sounders dispatched the visiting New England Revolution 3-0.

CB – Leonardo (LA Galaxy)

The Brazilian has often been labelled a weak link in the Galaxy side but that wasn’t the case on Friday night, as three tackles, seven interceptions and five clearances helped Bruce Arena’s men start their title defence off with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire.

CB – Chris Schuler (Real Salt Lake)

Nagging injuries have continued to disrupt Schuler’s career but there’s no doubt that, when on the field, he’s one of the best centre-backs in MLS. That fact was further underlined during RSL’s trip to the Portland Timbers, when 11 clearances and four blocked shots proved crucial towards a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

LB – Ray Gaddis (Philadelphia Union)

The Union couldn’t manage to find the breakthrough in their 0-0 home draw with the Colorado Rapids but that wasn’t for lack of effort from Gaddis. The full-back looked solid throughout the match, both in defence and attack, while recording four successful take-ons and six interceptions. After a successful 2014 season, international recognition could well be forthcoming if he can maintain his form over the coming months

DM – Victor Ulloa (FC Dallas)

A 1-0 win over the Sane Jose Earthquakes wouldn’t have been possible without the homegrown product’s composed performance in front of the back-four, with a match-leading four tackles and 46 passes underlining his impact on the result.

CM – Davy Arnaud (D.C. United)

With eight tackles and 88 touches of the football, Arnaud was in the thick of the action during United’s 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact, even getting involved in the build up to Jairo Arrieta’s 59th-minute clincher.

CM – Mix Diskerud (New York City FC)

David Villa might be NYCFC’s star attraction but the US international outshone his captain during the season opener at Orlando, making a match-leading 75 passes for a 96 per cent completion rate, while also netting his side’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw.

AM – Kaka (Orlando City SC)

The Brazilian superstar lived up to his billing in his MLS debut, with a late free-kick equaliser earning his side a share of the points against NYCFC. The goal itself was nothing to shout about, having taken a huge deflection, but five shots, four created chances and 70 touches were a sign of things to come.

ST – Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)

Two goals from their star man, the first coming from the spot, saw the Supporters’ Shield holders get their 2015 campaign off to an emphatic start, as the strike-partnership between Dempsey and Martins proved too much for the Revolution to handle on Sunday night

ST – Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

It didn’t take long for Altidore to get over his Sunderland struggles, as the former New York Red Bulls front man marked his return to the league with a brace in a 3-1 win at the Vancouver Whitecaps. An exquisite Sebastian Giovinco pass set up the first in the 32nd-minute, before the US international sealed the result at the death with a panenka from the spot.

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