Team of the Matchday

Team of the Matchday: Columbus trio leads the way, LA stars on song ahead of El Tráfico

Earning a spot on the Team of the Matchday presented by Audi is always a challenge, and an honor. Doing so twice in a row? Now that takes a torrid run of form.


With match-deciding heroics for a second straight matchday, Columbus Crew star Cucho Hernández, LAFC attacker Mateusz Bogusz and Seattle Sounders orchestrator Albert Rusnák headline the MD 23 TOTM, underlining their roles in making their respective teams three of the hottest in Major League Soccer.

Rusnák converted two penalty kicks, the second in injury time, to deliver the Sounders’ rousing 2-1 comeback victory over Chicago Fire FC, in addition to completing 87% of his passes, two of them chances created, as the Rave Green extended their unbeaten streak to four matches.

LAFC’s run now runs to a whopping nine unbeaten thanks to a second straight multi-goal game from Bogusz, who bagged a hat trick in the Black & Gold’s 3-0 thumping of the Colorado Rapids, powering his side towards Thursday’s El Tráfico showdown with the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). With 12 goals on the season, Bogusz has climbed up to fourth in the race for the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi.

Cucho, too, provided three goal contributions on Saturday, with a goal and two assists in the Crew’s jaw-dropping 5-1 rout of the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. With a 6-1-0 stretch over the past six weeks, the defending MLS Cup champions have vanquished fears of a Concacaf Champions Cup hangover, and their Colombian spearhead has been a massive influence. He’s joined here by club teammate Diego Rossi, who also notched 1g/2a against the Revs. The duo are two of five Columbus players named to the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target roster on Monday ahead of the midsummer showcase at their Field stomping grounds later this month.

Another MD 23 hat trick was delivered by Vancouver’s Brian White, securing not only a much-deserved TOTM place but also Player of the Matchday honors for the Whitecaps striker after his side’s wild 4-3 win over St. Louis CITY SC, a match the ‘Caps trailed 2-0 after just 12 minutes. White’s second goal – an instinctive heel flick over STL goalkeeper Ben Lundt – was particularly outrageous and might just land in the reckoning for AT&T Goal of the Year.

Bryce Duke led the way as CF Montréal snapped a four-game winless skid with a 4-2 comeback win over Philadelphia, assisting on Josef Martínez’s strike before netting a finish of his own amid a sterling overall performance in the center of the park. He’s joined in the Team of the Matchday midfield by Riqui Puig, who needed only 35 minutes off the bench to turn the LA Galaxy’s Cali Clásico duel vs. San Jose from a tight 1-0 contest into a runaway 3-0 triumph, inspiring coach Greg Vanney to label talk of the Gs being better without their Spanish talisman as “nonsense.”

A fearsome trio of goal-scoring defenders make up the TOTM back line. Luca Orellano roamed forward and cut infield to uncork the lone goal in FC Cincinnati’s 1-0 road win over FC Dallas. Rudy Camacho graced Columbus’ big win with his first tally of the season, and Jordi Alba made the difference with a wonderstrike in Inter Miami’s 2-1 win at Nashville SC.

Houston’s Steve Clark gets the nod at goalkeeper after making five saves in a clean-sheet display that secured a 1-0 home win over Charlotte FC for the Dynamo. And Miami’s Gerardo “Tata” Martino takes the coach’s spot as he oversaw yet another impressive Herons win while Leo Messi and Luis Suárez are away at Copa América, in addition to a list of various other absences.


Team of the Matchday (3-4-3, left to right): Steve Clark (HOU) - Luca Orellano (CIN), Rudy Camacho (CLB), Jordi Alba (MIA) - Diego Rossi (CLB), Albert Rusnák (SEA), Riqui Puig (LA), Bryce Duke (MTL) - Cucho Hernández (CLB), Mateusz Bogusz (LAFC), Brian White (VAN)

Coach: Gerardo Martino (MIA)

Bench: John McCarthy (LA), Tayvon Gray (NYC), Ian Fray (MIA), Miki Yamane (LA), James Sands (NYC), Evander (POR), Santiago Rodríguez (NYC), Gabriel Pec (LA), Tim Leibold (SKC)

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.