Who is the Week 12 Latino of the Week?

NEW YORK – After the culmination of Week 12 in MLS and the beginning of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, one aspect in relation to both of these events is very clear: Honduras is going to miss Marvin Chávez.

The Honduran of FC Dallas cordially declined the call of his national team to the regional competition and, clearly, his Texas club’s coaching staff should be very grateful.  The form that Chávez has shown in the past few weeks- when he was moved from midfield to forward- has been sensational.  Injuries have burdened the Texan squad, which is why Chávez decided to stay in Dallas to help his team maintain their good rhythm.

And boy did he do it.

The young Honduran was the author of the lone goal in the matchup between FC Dallas and New England Revolution last Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.  Chávez beat his defender in a footrace along the right side and sped into the penalty box to score the goal from a very difficult angle.  For this reason, the speedy Honduran is MLSSoccer.com’s first candidate for Week 12 Latino of the Week.

WATCH: Chávez gets the win for FC Dallas

Clearly Chávez isn’t the only nominee, as the Week 12 in MLS action also saw the return of a player that had been absent from the league under the worst circumstances: Marcos Mondaini

The Argentine forward from Chivas USA, who was suspended for an unfortunate foul that he committed against his compatriot Javier Morales of Real Salt Lake, returned to the field in a grand manner, scoring the only goal in the game against the Portland Timbers, and giving his team some much-needed offensive creativity.

The forward scored his goal off a cross from Paulo Nagamura and was clearly excited about getting the mark.  Many, including Javier Morales, had expressed how difficult the suspension had been for Mondaini.  As proof, the Argentine from Chivas USA calls his compatriot at Real Salt Lake every three days, inquiring about his recuperation.  Under the circumstances, Mondaini’s success is even more impressive. 

WATCH: Mondaini returns with a goal

Speaking of great Argentine forwards and of Real Salt Lake, Fabián Espíndola also makes an appearance in the Latino of the Week.  The ferocious RSL forward placed last Saturday’s game out of reach for Vancouver Whitecaps FC by scoring the second goal for Salt Lake.

During the absences of Morales (Left ankle break/dislocation), Álvaro Saborío (Gold Cup) and Arturo Álvarez (Gold Cup), Espíndola has had to take a leadership role on the RSL offense, which he performed to perfection at Rio Tinto Stadium.

WATCH: Espíndola scores RSL’s second

‘Espy’ and Real Salt Lake haven’t had the best of luck since their defeat at the hands of Monterrey in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, but they came back to life in a 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.  It would be a mistake to say that Real Salt Lake- a team which a few months ago was considered the best in MLS- has run out of gas.  The season is long and if there’s anything in favor of RSL, it’s the ability to maintain consistency once it’s found.

Relive what each candidate achieved this week and vote for your favorite by clicking here.  Voting results and Latino of the Week will be revealed this week in the podcast Tiro Libre (Spanish).