Team of the Matchday

Team of the Week presented by Audi: FC Dallas, Portland Timbers make splash in Week 22

Heineken Rivalry Week ended with a bang Sunday night, leading to FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers pacing the Week 22 Team of the Week presented by Audi.


FC Dallas homegrowns Ricardo Pepi and Jesus Ferreira both netted a brace in their 5-3 win at Austin FC, while goalkeeper Steve Clark made five saves (and was helped by the crossbar) in a 2-0 victory at Cascadia rivals Seattle. The latter result sees head coach Giovanni Savarese overseeing the 3-4-3 formation, while Portland forward Felipe Mora (1g, 1a) earned a bench spot.

Sticking with Sunday’s matches, new Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Ryan Gauld continues to prove every bit worthy of his Designated Player tag. The Scottsman had one goal and one assist in a 4-1 home win over Real Salt Lake, a Western Conference clash that featured two interim head coaches.

The front three is rounded out by Minnesota United FC forward Adrien Hunou and New York City FC forward Valentin Castellanos. Hunou’s brace fueled a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Houston Dynamo FC, while Castellanos’ double-trouble night prompted a 2-0 win over the Supporters’ Shield-leading New England Revolution.

For his two-goal performance in Saturday’s 3-3 El Trafico thriller, LAFC winger Brian Rodriguez also features prominently. As does Columbus Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayan, whose world-class free kick started their 3-2 Hell is Real win over FC Cincinnati.

The backline features Daniel Lovitz (Nashville SC), Ilie Sanchez (Sporting Kansas City) and Carlos Teran (Chicago Fire FC). Lovitz proved ever-reliable in a 2-0 rivalry win over Atlanta United; Sanchez anchored a 1-1 home draw against the Colorado Rapids; and Teran’s long throw-in again punished the New York Red Bulls in a 1-0 road win.

Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Steve Clark (POR) – Daniel Lovitz (NSH), Ilie Sanchez (SKC), Carlos Teran (CHI) – Brian Rodriguez (LAFC), Jesus Ferreira (DAL), Lucas Zelarayan (CLB), Ryan Gauld (VAN) – Adrien Hunou (MIN), Valentin Castellanos (NYC), Ricardo Pepi (DAL)

Coach: Giovanni Savarese (POR)

Bench: Nick Marsman (MIA), Djordje Mihailovic (MTL), Maxi Moralez (NYC), Yordy Reyna (DC), Dejan Joveljic (LA), Miguel Berry (CLB), Felipe Mora (POR)

The Team of the Week presented by Audi is voted on by the 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.