Heineken Rivalry Week kept bringing the fireworks midweek as various clubs awoke and new attacking partnerships were formed to make up Week 20’s Team of the Week presented by Audi.
The Colombian firepower in the league was on full display after new star Columbus Crew attacker Cucho Hernandez and Chicago Fire FC teenage striker Jhon Duran each scored a brace on Wednesday night. Duran guided the Windy City side to a much-needed 2-0 win over Toronto FC, while Cucho’s heroics were spoiled by a last-minute D.C. United goal to end the match 2-2.
Gonzalo Pineda’s choice to start Ronaldo Cisneros ahead of Atlanta United legend Josef Martinez paid off as the on-loan striker secured a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake with a brace of his own. Pineda’s sharp decisions after a tough time over the weekend earned him top coaching honors.
Austin FC kept pace with LAFC at the top of the standings with a convincing 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC. Diego Fagundez earned a spot among the week’s best after starting the comeback with a masterful free kick goal. Meanwhile, Ryan Gauld got a Team of the Week nod for a solid performance that included a goal in Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s 2-2 away result against FC Cincinnati. The midfielders are joined by Randall Leal, who was instrumental in Nashville SC’s 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC, and Jamiro Monteiro, a protagonist in the San Jose Earthquakes’ epic Cali Clasico 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy.
Lastly, the backline is composed of three top performers who helped their respective clubs secure key points in Week 20: Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union), Maxime Chanot (New York City FC) and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (Sporting Kansas City). The always reliable Pedro Gallese rounds up this week’s squad after making six saves to earn Orlando City SC a point on the road against the Colorado Rapids.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Pedro Gallese (ORL) – Kai Wagner (PHI), Maxime Chanot (NYC), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (SKC) – Randall Leal (NSH), Jamiro Monteiro (SJ), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Diego Fagundez (ATX) – Ronaldo Cisneros (ATL), Cucho Hernandez (CLB), Jhon Duran (CHI)
Coach: Gonzalo Pineda (ATL)
Bench: JT Marcinkowski (SJ), Ruben Gabrielsen (ATX), Cristian Dajome (VAN), Johnny Russell (SKC), Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Brenner (CIN), Dejan Joveljic (LA)
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.