Team of the Matchday

Team of the Matchday: Portland Timbers, St. Louis CITY take flight in Matchday 8

Matchday 8 roared to life late Saturday night via big victories for Portland Timbers and St. Louis CITY SC, two Western Conference clubs that lead the ensuing Team of the Matchday presented by Audi.


Portland earned their fourth straight Cascadia Cup win over Seattle Sounders FC, a 4-1 comeback result that began with a stunning bicycle kick from forward Dairon Asprilla. Another Colombian attacker, U22 Initiative signing Santiago Moreno, had 0g/2a to also place in the TotM starting XI. Fullback Juan Mosquera (1g/1a) is on the bench, and Giovanni Savarese received top coaching honors for overseeing a potentially season-altering win amid Portland’s injury troubles.

St. Louis CITY have two players in midfield – Eduard Löwen and Jared Stroud – following a 5-1 beatdown of FC Cincinnati, a game that was delayed over two hours due to inclement weather and vaulted the expansion side back into the Supporters’ Shield lead. Löwen and Stroud both had 1g/1a nights, and the former’s Newcomer of the Year case is gaining steam.

LAFC captain Carlos Vela (2g/1a) was dominant in their El Trafico rivalry win over LA Galaxy, a 3-2 result that marked their first-ever victory at Dignity Health Sports Park – all after securing a Concacaf Champions League semifinal spot midweek. Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig was also brilliant in the derby, placing on this week’s TotM bench.

San Jose Earthquakes striker Jeremy Ebobisse (2g/0a) powered a 3-0 win over 10-man Sporting Kansas City, and Philadelphia Union midfielder Dániel Gazdag (1g/1a) did the same in a 2-2 comeback draw at Chicago Fire FC. The Earthquakes are quietly four points off the league lead, and Philly also booked their CCL spot midweek.

The backline has two goalscorers: Maxime Chanot (New York City FC) and Richie Laryea (Toronto FC). Chanot’s corner-kick volley stood as the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Nashville SC, while Laryea’s brilliant strike contributed to a 2-2 draw vs. Atlanta United. Meanwhile, Marco Farfan (FC Dallas) grabbed the game-winning assist in a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka recorded a seven-save shutout at Austin FC to secure a 0-0 draw. The Japanese newcomer has three straight clean sheets in league play.

Team of the Matchday (3-4-3, left to right): Yohei Takaoka (VAN) - Marco Farfan (DAL), Maxime Chanot (NYC), Richie Laryea (TOR) - Santiago Moreno (POR), Eduard Löwen (STL), Dániel Gazdag (PHI), Jared Stroud (STL) - Dairon Asprilla (POR), Jeremy Ebobisse (SJ), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Coach: Giovanni Savarese (POR)

Bench: Patrick Schulte (CLB), Paul Marie (SJ), Juan Mosquera (POR), Latif Blessing (NE), Lewis O’Brien (DC), Richard Ledezma (NYC), Riqui Puig (LA), Kerwin Vargas (CLT), Duncan McGuire (ORL)


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.