The 14-game weekend that was saw Alan Velasco make an incredible debut for FC Dallas, No. 10s Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew) and Darwin Quintero (Houston Dynamo FC) run the show, and Dayne St. Clair boost his case for Minnesota United FC’s starting goalkeeper spot – a quartet that paces Week 3's Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Velasco, FCD's club-record signing, entered as a second-half substitute and scored on a jaw-dropping solo run, with the $7 million man from Argentina's Independiente sinking Nashville SC 2-0 at home. Zelarayan, the early-season leading scorer league-wide, had one goal and one assist in Columbus’ 2-1 comeback victory over Toronto FC. And Quintero’s return to Houston’s starting XI was marked by two stellar goals in their own 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The goalkeeper spot deservingly went to St. Clair, who stepped into the Loons’ lineup and posted an eight-save shutout of the New York Red Bulls, including a Patryk Klimala penalty-kick denial in the 1-0 road win. MNUFC normally feature Tyler Miller between the sticks, though the Canadian international stepped up in a major way.
FC Cincinnati broke their 14-game losing streak stretching back to the 2021 campaign, highlighted by Brandon Vazquez’s brace in a 2-1 win at Orlando City SC. That also marked head coach Pat Noonan’s first win in charge of the Orange & Blue, giving him Coach of the Week honors.
Vazquez and Velasco are joined up top by Talles Magno, who had one goal and one assist in New York City FC’s 4-1 win over CF Montréal, a home opener for the MLS Cup 2021 champs. LAFC’s Ilie Sanchez and Colorado’s Mark-Anthony Kaye also earned spots in midfield – with the former steady as ever in a 2-0 win at Inter Miami CF, and the latter scoring in a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
The defensive group has three center backs: Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Bill Tuiloma (Portland Timbers) and Wyatt Omsberg (Chicago Fire FC). Glad scored in RSL’s snow-filled 3-2 win at New England; Tuiloma’s goalline heroics and headed finish earned Portland a 1-0 win over Austin FC; and Omsberg helped pace Chicago’s third straight shutout to start the year, a 2-0 win at D.C. United.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Dayne St. Clair (MIN) – Justen Glad (RSL), Bill Tuiloma (POR), Wyatt Omsberg (CHI) – Darwin Quintero (HOU), Mark-Anthony Kaye (COL), Ilie Sanchez (LAFC), Lucas Zelarayan (CLB) – Talles Magno (NYC), Brandon Vazquez (CIN), Alan Velasco (DAL)
Coach: Pat Noonan (CIN)
Bench: Gaga Slonina (CHI), Xavier Arreaga (SEA), Nathan Harriel (PHI), Diego Chara (POR), Ben Bender (CLT), Derrick Etienne Jr. (CLB), Diego Rubio (COL)
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 $500 into the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund to directly support each MLS Club Youth Academy.