Seattle Sounders FC are back within striking distance of first place in the Western Conference standings, earning three spots on Matchday 24’s Team of the Matchday presented by Audi.
Forward Léo Chú was electric (2g/0a) in their 3-2 road victory over Cascadia Cup rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Jackson Ragen’s impact was also profound, notching two assists while shining at center back. Brian Schmetzer earned Coach of the Matchday honors following the comeback result, their second straight W after an uncharacteristic slump.
Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido remained in red-hot form, scoring twice in a 2-2 draw at Houston Dynamo FC to move into a third-place tie in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race. Charlotte FC forward Karol Swiderski also bagged a brace, helping his team earn a 2-2 draw vs. Supporters’ Shield-leading FC Cincinnati with two acrobatic finishes.
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta and LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig both showed why they’re heading to the 2023 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target later this month. Acosta’s 1g/1a paced Cincy’s comeback result at Charlotte, while Puig notched 1g/1a for the second-straight game to pace a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Pablo Ruiz, in a 4-0 rout of Orlando City SC, became the first RSL player to record three assists since Fabian Espindola in 2012. And Austin FC maestro Sebastián Driussi was dynamite with 2g/1a in a 4-1 win at Minnesota United FC, spoiling the Loons’ Teemu Pukki welcome party.
Aside from Ragen, Andreas Maxsø (Colorado Rapids) and Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC) also snagged backline spots. Maxsø’s corner-kick header marked his first-ever MLS goal and jumpstarted a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas, Colorado’s first home victory of the 2023 campaign. Meanwhile, Pineda kept Nashville SC under wraps in a 1-0 victory for the in-form Fire.
Team of the Matchday (3-4-3, left to right): Patrick Schulte (CLB) - Jackson Ragen (SEA), Andreas Maxsø (COL), Mauricio Pineda (CHI) - Riqui Puig (LA), Pablo Ruiz (RSL), Luciano Acosta (CIN), Sebastián Driussi (ATX) - Léo Chú (SEA), Alan Pulido (SKC), Karol Swiderski (CLT)
Coach: Brian Schmetzer (SEA)
Bench: Drake Callender (MIA), Justen Glad (RSL), Álvaro Barreal (CIN), Santiago Sosa (ATL), Benjamin Cremaschi (MIA), Héctor Herrera (HOU), Frankie Amaya (RBNY), Fabian Herbers (CHI), Aziel Jackson (STL)
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.