MLS came back from the international break with aplomb in Week 16, as a packed weekend slate saw all 22 teams in action. Over the course of those 11 games, we saw plenty of things we've seen plenty of times before, but this time around some of them seemed just a little different.
We'll cover those and many of the league's other notable events in this week's edition of the MLS XI:
Alan Gordon has become a cult hero in Major League Soccer for a few reasons, but one of them is his propensity for late, game-winning goals. After highlighting one such play in the last edition of the MLS XI, Gordon delivered again this week for the Rapids against the Portland Timbers with the winner in a 2-1 triumph:
Miguel Almiron scored another stunner for Atlanta United, but the point of this item is to heap praise upon Atlanta United defender Leandro González Pírez.
The defender’s tackle on Columbus' Niko Hansen was sublime, his recovery afterward admirable, and his enterprising ball forward set Almiron to perform the magic we've all become used to seeing in MLS so far:
That was the winning goal in Atlanta's 3–1 triumph.
He also provided not one but TWO headed goal-line clearances in the game's closing moments to preserve Chicago's 2–1 win:
Not bad for the league-leading striker.
Ignacio Piatti seems to do something eye-catching every single week, and though he had two goals in the Impact's 3–3 draw with Orlando City, we'd like to spare special mention for the wonderful assist he earned on Montreal's opener, which combined hard work and his trademark guile in the box:
David Villa scoring goals for NYCFC isn't anything new at this point. However, it's worth noting that Villa scored his 50th goal with the club over the weekend, netting it on a penalty kick and then scoring this classy winner in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders in a rain-soaked Yankee Stadium later in the match:
Jose Mourinho has been known to prematurely head from the technical area back to the locker room, but Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch wasn't trying to mimic one of the world's best when he did this after Bradley Wright-Phillips' second goal against Philadelphia on Sunday: