FC Dallas are a team on the rise, rattling off their second straight win against a top-tier Western Conference side to pace the Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 16.
Following their 2-1 win at Supporters’ Shield contender Sporting Kansas City, midfielder Paxton Pomykal slots into the 3-4-3 formation, head coach Luchi Gonzalez leads the group and center back Nkosi Tafari is the sole defender on the bench. Pomykal scored a wobbling right-footed blast that began FCD’s big night at Children’s Mercy Park.
The frontline is led by Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Cristian Dajome and Inter Miami CF forward Gonzalo Higuain, who both netted braces, while New York City FC forward Thiago Andrade chipped in one goal and one assist. Higuain’s goals snapped a seven-game winless streak for Miami, Dajome salvaged a draw and Andrade proved explosive in a 4-1 dispatch of the Columbus Crew.
Across the midfield, Minnesota United FC playmaker Emanuel Reynoso had one goal and one assist in a double-game week. New England Revolution star Carles Gil had two assists in a 3-2 win at the New York Red Bulls, giving him a league-leading 15 helpers on the year. And Orlando City SC talisman Nani dropped one goal and one assist in a 3-2 comeback victory over rivals Atlanta United.
The backline includes Philadelphia Union left back Kai Wagner, Nashville SC center back Robert Castellanos and LA Galaxy right back Julian Araujo. Wagner and Castellanos both scored in 1-1 draws, with the latter shining in his MLS debut. Araujo dished out two assists in a 4-1 rout of the Portland Timbers, continuing the teenage fullback’s rise.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): JT Marcinkowski (SJ) – Kai Wagner (PHI), Robert Castellanos (NSH), Julian Araujo (LA) – Nani (ORL), Carles Gil (NE), Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Paxton Pomykal (DAL) – Cristian Dajome (VAN), Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Thiago Andrade (NYC)
Coach: Luchi Gonzalez (DAL)
Bench: Bill Hamid (DC), Nkosi Tafari (DAL), Rayan Raveloson (LA), Keaton Parks (NYC), Silvester van der Water (ORL), Michael Barrios (COL), Adam Buksa (NE)
The Team of the Week presented by Audi is voted on by the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff.
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.