D.C. United defender Frédéric Brillant was selected to the Week 28 MLS Team of the Week for his role in the critical road win against Portland Timbers at Providence Park on September 15.
The Black-and-Red travelled to Portland to face a Timbers side that were pushing to solidify their place in the Western Conference playoff race. In wet conditions, Ben Olsen hoped to emulate the team performance from the previous match where they beat the Montreal Impact 3-0 on the road.
In the 25th minute, newly converted right back Russell Canouse started the sequence with a well-placed pass into the feet of Junior Moreno. The Venezuelan connected with Wayne Rooney for a one-two before spraying the ball out wide to Ulises Segura. The Costa Rican rifled a cross dangerously into the box and Portland Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma redirected the ball into his own net.
The Black-and-Red defense then showed their resilience and grit by grinding out the 1-0 win despite only claiming 32.5% of the possession. At the center of the defensive effort, Brillant was an important contributor to maintaining the clean sheet; the second consecutive shutout for D.C. United on the road. The 6-foot-3 inch defender was an imposing defensive force for the Black-and-Red with Portland totaling 23 shots and putting in 39 crosses as they heaped on the pressure in hopes of finding an equalizer.
Brillant was integral to D.C. United’s defensive performance as they recorded their 11th clean sheet of the season. Despite being under constant pressure throughout the match, the Frenchman was able to display his defensive instincts by keeping the opposition away from Bill Hamid with the goalkeeper only being asked to make four saves. Brillant finished the game with an impressive statline of five tackles and 11 clearances, while winning all of his aerial duels. The Timbers tried their best tricks to get past the 34-year-old, but Brillant held strong and was never beaten on the dribble by any of opponents.
Brillant is enjoying one of his best seasons in MLS with this being his third selection to the MLS Team of the Week this year. The veteran defender currently leads the league in clearances (194) and is tied with his defensive partner Steven Birnbaum for the most blocked shots (31). With three matches left in the regular season, Brillant has appeared in every game for the Black-and-Red and they will need his experience as they push for another playoff appearance in a tight Eastern Conference.