Team of the Matchday

Team of the Week presented by Audi: Who were the clear standouts on Decision Day?

Facing some variation of win-and-you’re-in scenarios during Week 34, FC Cincinnati, Minnesota United FC, Orlando City SC and Real Salt Lake all produced monster performances on Decision Day to enter the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs on a high note.


RSL lead the way with three representatives following a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers. Head coach Pablo Mastroeni, defender Bryan Oviedo (two assists) and forward Jefferson Savarino (1g/1a) were all stellar at America First Field, giving RSL the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed.

Cincy locked up the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed with a 5-2 beatdown of D.C. United, a game where Brenner had his third hat trick of the year and added an assist. His strike partner, Brandon Vazquez, appears on the bench following a 1g/3a performance.

Minnesota snapped a six-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, giving them the Western Conference’s No. 6 seed. Center back Brent Kallman gets a starting XI nod for his efforts, while winger Franco Fragapane’s game-winner resulted in a bench role.

As for Orlando, they secured the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 seed with a 2-1 comeback win over the Columbus Crew at home. All-action midfielder Junior Urso is in the XI after netting an equalizer, and winger Facundo Torres is on the bench following his game-winning penalty kick.

The Philadelphia Union had two honorees in the starting XI, locking up the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed after a 4-0 rout of Toronto FC. Center back Jack Elliott and midfielder Daniel Gazdag got nods, with a 3g/1a performance bringing Gazdag within a hair of the Golden Boot presented by Audi award.

Elias Manoel (New York Red Bulls) is the last forward following a brace in a 2-0 win over Charlotte FC, and both Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders FC) and Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montréal) join the midfield. Lodeiro’s brace was vital in a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, while Mihailovic had 1g/1a for the league’s most in-form team during a 3-1 win at Inter Miami CF.

Last but certainly not least, Nashville SC goalkeeper Joe Willis had a monster 14-save day in a 1-0 win at LAFC. He stopped a first-half penalty kick from striker Cristian Arango, plus set a season-high single-game saves mark.

Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Joe Willis (NSH) – Jack Elliott (PHI), Brent Kallman (MIN), Bryan Oviedo (RSL) – Daniel Gazdag (PHI), Djordje Mihailovic (MTL), Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA), Junior Urso (ORL) – Elias Manoel (RBNY), Brenner (CIN), Jefferson Savarino (RSL)

Coach: Pablo Mastroeni (RSL)

Bench: Carlos Coronel (RBNY), Shaq Moore (NSH), Gaston Brugman (LA), Sebastian Lletget (DAL), Franco Fragapane (MIN), Facundo Torres (ORL), Brandon Vazquez (CIN)


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.