If you ask any player about their personal goals, just about every single one will tell you that their first priority is helping the team in. Individual success and recognition is nice, but it's team first, and that is just how it should be.
As a fan, I have always claimed to feel the same way. I don't need my wins to be flashy. I don't need players to win Goal or Save of the Week. I just want wins. I want the team to do well. The rest is just fluff.
But who are we really kidding? Everyone loves recognition. Soccer players lover scoring great goals. Goalies like making amazing saves. Defenders love making crunching tackles. Fans love seeing their favorite players get league wide praise for their great performances. Anyone who says they don't want to see their name, or their favorite player if they're a fan, on the Best XI list is lying to you or lying to themselves.
Lucky for us Philadelphia Union players and fans alike, the team got plenty of recognition this week with two of our own making MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week List.
First up is Chris Pontius who scored a beautiful brace, notching his first goals in a Union jersey, and the teams first goals for 2016. These goals may not have been cheeky chips, rockets from 30 yards out, or diving headers that we're likely to see on the Goals of the Week highlight reel, but they were classy, veteran finishes from a classy veteran. Pontius did an excellent job to time his run perfectly and one time finish his chance. Oh, and he managed to do it twice.
Pontius's signing was one that many a Union fan bemoaned during the offseason, but I doubt you'll hear very much complaining about that signing this week. You just keep making your haters and doubters eat their words, Chris. They only hate you 'cause they ain't you.
The second player to make the Best XI is Andre Blake.
I don't think I can capture in words just how good Blake has been between the sticks. He's been a Jamaican Revelation. Blake the Snake has stood on his head and kept this team in the game for two games in a row and is showing no signs of slowing down. His positioning is solid, his athleticism is awe-inspiring. If his distribution leaves something to be desired, honestly who cares? Have Richie Marquez or Ken Tribbet take the 6 yard kicks if Blake doesn't want to. He's that good. I didn't even bring up how good he is at coming out and snatching crosses and corners out of the air. He's just so good, you guys.
For an honorable mention, it's worth noting that former Union winger and Pennsylvania native Andrew Wenger seems to have finally settled things with the Witch Doctor who cursed him. He bagged a goal and two assists in Houston's 5-0 demolition of FC Dallas' hopes and dreams. Good for you, Andrew.
Are there any other Union players you think deserved Best XI honors this week? Tell us in the comments!