Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: LAFC forward Carlos Vela and Austin FC midfielder Sebastian Driussi are on the Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Vela’s been a regular honoree ever since coming to MLS in 2018, and the DP’s off-the-bench goal helped start a 2-0, rain-delayed win at the Columbus Crew. As for Driussi, his Landon Donovan MLS MVP case only builds with a goal and all-around strong night in a 2-2 comeback draw vs. Orlando City SC.
Players of a similar mold also appear on Week 13’s edition, with Houston Dynamo FC’s own DP striker, Sebastian Ferreira, notching 1g/2a in a 3-0 win at the LA Galaxy. Atlanta United’s own Argentine playmaker, league-record signing Thiago Almada, had 1g/1a in a 2-2 draw at Nashville SC.
The forward line features Nashville’s CJ Sapong, who continues to be much more than a hold-up magician after his 1g/1a showing vs. Atlanta. As for the midfield crew, Jack Price (Colorado Rapids) and Pablo Ruiz (Real Salt Lake) anchor the ranks in perhaps underappreciated fashion. Price was huge in a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC, and the same applies to Ruiz in a 2-1 win at CF Montréal.
New England Revolution right back Brandon Bye had one of the performances of the weekend, tallying three assists in a 3-2 win at FC Cincinnati. Philadelphia Union left back Kai Wagner had a helper in a 2-0 win at the Portland Timbers, and NYCFC center back Alexander Callens anchored his club's fifth-straight shutout in a 1-0 result over Chicago Fire FC.
At goalkeeper, Drake Callender's four-save performance buoyed Inter Miami CF’s 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. His head coach, Phil Neville, is recognized for snapping a four-game winless skid and halting RBNY’s six-game unbeaten road run to start the year.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Drake Callender (MIA) – Kai Wagner (PHI), Alexander Callens (NYC), Brandon Bye (NE) – Thiago Almada (ATL), Jack Price (COL), Pablo Ruiz (RSL), Sebastian Driussi (ATX) – Carlos Vela (LAFC), CJ Sapong (NSH), Sebastian Ferreira (HOU)
Coach: Phil Neville (MIA)
Bench: Steve Clark (HOU), DJ Taylor (MIN), Thomas McNamara (NE), Alejandro Bedoya (PHI), Paul Arriola (DAL), Michael Estrada (DC), Daniel Rios (CLT)
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.