Two past Landon Donovan MLS MVPs, as well as an early 2023 candidate, lead the latest Team of the Matchday presented by Audi.
Inter Miami CF striker Josef Martínez became the fastest player in MLS history to 100 regular-season goals, notching a second-half brace in the Herons’ 2-1 win over Atlanta United after subbing on. It was a bittersweet occasion for Martínez, who earned 2018 MVP honors while rising to legendary status at Atlanta – only to score his first Miami goals against his former club, all following a drawn-out exit this past winter.
Nashville SC attacker Hany Mukhtar scored his third MLS hat trick in a 3-0 win over Chicago Fire FC, a performance that included two goals from the penalty-kick spot. Mukhtar, the 2022 MVP, is now tied for the league lead in combined goals + assists (11) and has silenced talk of any slowdown in form.
San Jose Earthquakes winger Cristian Espinoza, fresh off MLS Player of the Month honors for April 2023, scored twice in a 2-1 victory over previously-unbeaten LAFC to bolster his evolving MVP credentials. That statement result against a Concacaf Champions League finalist, before over 45,000 fans at Levi’s Stadium, earns Luchi Gonzalez top coaching honors.
Martínez is joined at striker by Brian White (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and Enzo Copetti (Charlotte FC) after they both bagged braces in 3-2 victories. White’s occurred against Minnesota United FC as Vancouver moved to eight games unbeaten, while Copetti’s arrived against New York City FC in the offseason signing’s sharpest game yet.
Connor Ronan (Colorado Rapids) and Erik Thommy (Sporting Kansas City) man the midfield after pulling the strings for their Western Conference clubs. Ronan, an offseason signing from English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, tallied three assists in a 3-1 win at the LA Galaxy. Thommy, who arrived last summer after playing for German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart, had 1g/1a as SKC downed Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on the road. That result ended Sporting’s 10-game winless start to the season.
New England Revolution left back DeJuan Jones and CF Montréal right back Aaron Herrera both showed why they’re among the league’s best at their respective positions. Jones got the insurance goal in a 2-0 win at Toronto FC, while Herrera snagged an assist and created an own goal in a 2-0 win over Orlando City SC.
Team of the Matchday (3-4-3, left to right): Steve Clark (HOU) - DeJuan Jones (NE), Damion Lowe (PHI), Aaron Herrera (MTL) - Cristian Espinoza (SJ), Connor Ronan (COL), Erik Thommy (SKC), Hany Mukhtar (NSH) - Josef Martínez (MIA), Brian White (VAN), Enzo Copetti (CLT)
Coach: Luchi Gonzalez (SJ)
Bench: Andre Blake (PHI), Rudy Camacho (MTL), Lalas Abubakar (COL), Álvaro Barreal (CIN), Noel Buck (NE), Owen Wolff (ATX), Luciano Acosta (CIN), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Evander (POR)
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.