MLS team of the week: Ex-Charlton and Leeds man features with teammates

New York Red Bulls trio Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty and Bradley Wright-Phillips were among the standout players from week three of MLS action.

GK – Josh Saunders (New York City FC)

Saunders has been a fantastic shot-stopper so far this season for the expansion side, with another seven saves on the weekend helping seal a 0-0 draw at the Colorado Rapids.

RB – Atiba Harris (FC Dallas)

Harris has proven a more than capable makeshift right-back in the first three games this season, recording three tackles, three interceptions, four clearances and six won headers in the 2-0 road win against the Philadelphia Union.

CB – Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City)

Opara has had few problems replacing the traded Aurelien Collin this season, as a match-leading eight interceptions underlined his importance in SKC’s 0-0 home draw with the Portland Timbers.

CB – Leonardo (Los Angeles Galaxy)

The Brazilian has his fair share of detractors but he’s been in fine form this season, including in Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Owen Coyle’s visiting Houston Dynamo side.

LB – Marcel de Jong (Sporting Kansas City)

Another member of the SKC line-up who stood out on the weekend, offseason acquisition De Jong was excellent both in attack and defence in the Timbers stalemate, recording four key passes and four tackles over the 90 minutes.

RM – Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls)

It’s now two goals in two games for the former Charlton Athletic and Leeds United winger, after his second-half strike helped the Red Bulls breathe a little easier on route to a 2-0 win over rivals D.C. United.

CM – Matias Laba (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Keeping Kaka in check for 90 minutes is a far from straightforward task but the emerging Argentine proved up for the challenge in a narrow 1-0 win at Orlando to help make it two straight victories for Carl Robinson’s side.

CM – Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

The Red Bulls’ new captain showed his influence in the win over United, setting up Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 25th-minute opener with an outstanding lofted ball, while also linking up well with midfield partners Felipe and Sacha Kljestan.

LM – Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)

An assist, six shots and three key passes against the Union showed that the pacey Colombian looks set for another big season.

ST – Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)

The 2014 Golden Boot-winner proved he’s a lot more than just a goal poacher at Red Bull Arena on Sunday. As well as opening his account for the season, the former Southampton and Charlton striker also recorded four key passes and set up Sam for the second to seal all three points against United.

ST – Octavio Rivero (Vancouver Whitecaps)

The Whitecaps went out in search of a genuine goalscorer this winter and it looks like they’ve found one, with a dramatic last-gasp header in the win over Orlando making it three goals in three games for the Uruguayan.

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