An abbreviated Matchday 19 slate saw just 12 of 29 teams compete due to the June international break. The star performances didn't slow down, though, making for easy Team of the Matchday presented by Audi pickings.
LAFC snapped a four-game scoreless and winless streak across all competitions, returning to the win column with a 2-1 result at Sporting Kansas City. Club captain Carlos Vela scored a 90th-minute winner off the bench on center back Aaron Long’s assist. Black & Gold head coach Steve Cherundolo, using a rotated XI at Children’s Mercy Park, has his group just shy of the 30-point mark before their season’s halfway point.
The New England Revolution, after a 3-1 win over Orlando City SC, moved to 6W-0L-3D at Gillette Stadium this season to equal the club’s best home start through nine games (previously set in 2005 and matched in 2015). Two of their Designated Players, forward Gustavo Bou (1g/1a) and midfielder Carles Gil (1g/1a), were difference-makers in the Eastern Conference matchup.
Nashville SC, through a 3-1 win over expansion side St. Louis CITY SC, have reached a club-record 10 games unbeaten in league play (7W-0L-3D stretch). Right back Shaq Moore impressed at GEODIS Park, but the real star was Hany Mukhtar. The 2022 Landon Donovan MLS MVP scored his fourth career MLS hat trick and became the third player in MLS history to record at least 50 goals and 30 assists in the regular season over three years (Sebastian Giovinco and Robbie Keane are the others).
Real Salt Lake climbed the Western Conference table with a 2-1 win at 10-man D.C. United. Left back Andrew Brody put in another strong performance, though the headlines all centered around Pablo Ruiz. The Argentine midfielder unleashed an AT&T 5G Goal of the Year contender, chipping D.C. goalkeeper Tyler Miller from nearly 70 yards out.
Team of the Matchday (4-3-3, left to right): Daniel (SJ) - Andrew Brody (RSL), James Sands (NYC), Aaron Long (LAFC), Shaq Moore (NSH) - Pablo Ruiz (RSL), Carles Gil (NE), Diego Chara (POR) - Carlos Vela (LAFC), Gustavo Bou (NE), Hany Mukhtar (NSH)
Coach: Steve Cherundolo (LAFC)
Bench: John McCarthy (LAFC), Dave Romney (NE), Denil Maldonado (LAFC), Dax McCarty (NSH), Jacob Shaffelburg (NSH), Alexandru Mățan (CLB), Gabriel Segal (NYC), Danny Musovski (RSL), Christian Ramirez (CLB)
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.