Austin FC made quite the statement and the Philadelphia Union made some MLS history, pacing the Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 27.
Led by winger Diego Fagundez’s one goal (free-kick stunner) and two assists, Austin blitzed LAFC in a 4-1 win Friday to start the match week. Josh Wolff gets top coaching honors as his Verde & Black have twice dethroned the Supporters’ Shield leaders in 2022.
A hat trick from Philadelphia midfielder Daniel Gazdag spearheaded a 6-0 thumping of the man-down Colorado Rapids, all as the Union became the first club to record four six-goal wins in MLS history. Each of those results have occurred since early July, with left back Kai Wagner (one assist) also earning a Team of the Week nod for the Eastern Conference leaders.
Alongside Fagundez, forwards Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (LA Galaxy) and Federico Bernardeschi (Toronto FC) earned starting nods for 1g/1a showings that sparked their respective Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoff chases. Chicharito led a 2-1 road victory over the New England Revolution, while Bernardeschi’s production didn’t slow down in a 2-0 win at Charlotte FC.
Aside from Gazdag, the other three midfielders are as follows: Erik Thommy (Sporting Kansas City), Cristian Casseres Jr. (New York Red Bulls) and Facundo Torres (Orlando City SC).
Thommy’s all-action showing led SKC’s 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, continuing the German Bundesliga product’s considerable impact as a midseason signing. Casseres popped off for two assists in a 3-1 comeback win over Inter Miami CF, while Torres had one assist in a dynamic showing as Orlando dropped New York City FC 2-1 at home.
Joining Wagner, Nashville SC center back Jack Maher and Columbus Crew right back Steven Moreira are the other defenders. Maher scored twice in Nashville’s 3-0 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC while marshaling a much-needed shutout, and Moreira’s 96th-minute game-winner secured a 2-2 draw at Hell is Real Derby rivals FC Cincinnati.
CF Montréal’s Sebastian Breza logged a four-save shutout in their 2-0 win at Chicago Fire FC, making several stunning stops once the visitors went down to 10 men.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Sebastian Breza (MTL) – Kai Wagner (PHI), Jack Maher (NSH), Steven Moreira (CLB) – Erik Thommy (SKC), Cristian Casseres Jr. (RBNY), Daniel Gazdag (PHI), Facundo Torres (ORL) – Diego Fagundez (ATX), Javier Hernandez (LA), Federico Bernardeschi (TOR)
Coach: Josh Wolff (ATX)
Bench: Jonathan Bond (LA), Julio Cascante (ATX), Alan Velasco (DAL), Dairon Asprilla (POR), Lorenzo Insigne (TOR), Luis Amarilla (MIN), Tesho Akindele (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 $500 into the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund to directly support each MLS Club Youth Academy.