Star players step up for big occasions. Such was the case in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs – and we now know which postseason competitors produced the best performances this year, with the release of the Audi Player Index Team of the Playoffs on Tuesday.
Unsurprisingly, MLS Cup finalists Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers lead the way with four players apiece on this postseason Best XI. Conference finalists the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City are also represented, with selections in both attack and defense.
Three members of this elite lineup also earned MLS Best XI honors for their regular-season excellence: Miguel Almiron (ATL), Aaron Long (RBNY) and Josef Martinez (ATL), the latter of whom also racked up league MVP and MLS Cup MVP gongs.
Audi Player Index Spotlight
He’s the heart and soul of the Timbers, spearheaded their run to the MLS Cup final with several outstanding displays in the postseason, and now Diego Valeri has officially been recognized as the top performer in the playoffs according to the Audi Player Index.
The Argentinean maestro bagged four goals and two assists in the Timbers’ underdog surge from fifth seed in the Western Conference bracket to Cup finalists, adding up to a 454 API score that makes him the star of the Audi Player Index’s Team of the Playoffs.
Team of the Playoffs
Diego Valeri (Midfielder, Portland Timbers) — 454
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Defender, Atlanta United) — 400
Josef Martinez (Forward, Atlanta United) — 373
Matt Besler (Defender, Sporting KC) — 353
Miguel Almiron (Midfielder, Atlanta United) — 294
Sebastian Blanco (Midfielder, Portland Timbers) — 290
Diego Chara (Midfielder, Portland Timbers) — 263
Jeff Attinella (Goalkeeper, Portland Timbers) — 200
Johnny Russell (Forward, Sporting KC) — 199
Aaron Long (Defender, NY Red Bulls) — 189
Franco Escobar (Defender, Atlanta United) — 111
For more information about the Audi Player Index, visit mlssoccer.com/audi.