Matchday 4, in many ways, was the Thiago Almada show. But results were also shaped by some of Major League Soccer’s Concacaf standouts, as reflected in the Team of the Matchday presented by Audi.
Almada was transcendent for Atlanta United, contributing two goals and two assists in a 5-1 rout of the Portland Timbers as the Argentine World Cup-winning star possibly builds towards an MLS record outgoing transfer. The 21-year-old, undoubtedly, is a way-early Landon Donovan MLS MVP favorite.
In Concacaf circles:
- One of Mexico’s biggest names of the past decade, midfielder Héctor Herrera, scored his first goal for Houston Dynamo FC in a 2-0 win over Texan rivals Austin FC.
- Honduran starting striker Romell Quioto’s brace earned a dramatic 3-2 win for CF Montréal over the Philadelphia Union, the club’s first victory under new manager Hernan Losada.
Canadian fullback Richie Laryea’s two-way dominance produced an assist in a 2-0 win for Toronto FC over Inter Miami CF.
- Mexican center back Miguel Tapias, an offseason signing from Liga MX side Pachuca, scored his first MLS goal – the game-winner in a 2-1 win at the Colorado Rapids.
- American center back Henry Kessler was lockdown in a 1-0 win for the New England Revolution over Nashville SC.
The South American group extended beyond Almada and applied to Venezuelan midfielder Junior Moreno, whose brace rescued a 3-3 comeback draw for FC Cincinnati at Chicago Fire FC. There’s also Brazilian striker João Klauss, whose third goal of the year helped pace a 3-0 win for St. Louis CITY SC over the San Jose Earthquakes – giving the top-of-the-league newcomers the best-ever expansion-season start in MLS history (4W-0L-0D).
The European players are FC Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes, as penalty-kick heroics from the Dutchman proved crucial in a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. And potential club-record signing Dante Vanzeir’s first New York Red Bulls goal secured a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew, volleying home the dagger after subbing on late.
The last bucket belongs to Charlotte FC following their 2-1 win at Orlando City SC, whereby manager Christian Lattanzio made all the right tactical adjustments and lineup decisions after a slow start to the year. Among the changes was interesting Harrison Afful at left back; the veteran defender had an assist after Charlotte opened their second season with three straight losses.
Team of the Matchday (4-3-3, left to right): Maarten Paes (DAL) - Harrison Afful (CLT), Henry Kessler (NE), Miguel Tapias (MIN), Richie Laryea (TOR) - Héctor Herrera (HOU), Junior Moreno (CIN), Thiago Almada (ATL) - Romell Quioto (MTL), João Klauss (STL), Dante Vanzeir (RBNY)
Coach: Christian Lattanzio (CLT)
Bench: John McCarthy (LAFC), Tristan Blackmon (VAN), Jake Nerwinski (STL), Santiago Rodríguez (NYC), Luquinhas (RBNY), Caleb Wiley (ATL), Federico Bernardeschi (TOR), Gustavo Bou (NE), Mikael Uhre (PHI)
Audi Goals Drive Progress
MLS Academies have been identified as one of the most important resources for building on-field talent in North America. Through the Audi Goals Drive Progress initiative, Audi has committed $1 million per season in an effort to advance academies league-wide, and to drive progress for the sport. For every goal scored in the regular season, Audi will contribute $200 into the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund to directly support each MLS Club Youth Academy.