The Black & Gold snapped a four-game winless streak in their marquee showdown with St. Louis CITY SC late Wednesday evening, taking down the Western Conference's first-place team. Club captain Carlos Vela and midfielder José Cifuentes were both decisive with 1g/1a, while All-Star defender Ryan Hollingshead showed why he's set to face Arsenal next week.
Minnesota continued their strong road form with a lopsided win at Houston Dynamo FC, starting with Bongokuhle Hlongwane's team-leading sixth goal of the year. Adrian Heath earned Coach of the Matchday honors, while goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair and marquee signing Teemu Pukki (after scoring his first MLS goal) both slotted onto the bench.
The Philadelphia Union similarly rebounded, paced by two Dániel Gazdag penalty kicks in a 2-0 win at Nashville SC and lockdown center-back play from Jack Elliott. Gazdag, with his brace, became the fifth player in MLS history to score at least eight penalty kicks in a single season.
The San Jose Earthquakes notched a 2-0 win of their own, dispatching Seattle Sounders FC at home – a game highlighted by defender Miguel Trauco's world-class volley. All-Star forward Cristian Espinoza tallied 1g/1a as well, scoring from the penalty spot and becoming the all-time assist leader in club history (51), passing club legend Shea Salinas.
All-Star goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic was phenomenal for the New England Revolution, posting 10 saves in a 2-1 win over Atlanta United. Xherdan Shaqiri powered red-hot Chicago Fire FC with 1g/1a in a 3-0 win over CF Montréal, and FC Cincinnati midfielder Obinna Nwobodo scored a dramatic late volley for the Supporters' Shield leaders as they completed a 2-1 comeback at New York Red Bulls.
Team of the Matchday (3-4-3, left to right): Djordje Petrovic (NE) - Miguel Trauco (SJ), Jack Elliott (PHI), Ryan Hollingshead (LAFC) - José Cifuentes (LAFC), Obinna Nwobodo (CIN), Xherdan Shaqiri (CHI), Dániel Gazdag (PHI) - Cristian Espinoza (SJ), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (MIN)
Coach: Adrian Heath (MIN)
Bench: Dayne St. Clair (MIN), Rodrigues (SJ), Carles Gil (NE), Thiago Almada (ATL), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Johnny Russell (SKC), Maren Haile-Selassie (CHI), Anderson Julio (RSL), Teemu Pukki (MIN)
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.