Team of the Matchday

Team of the Week presented by Audi: Inter Miami, NYCFC explode for goals in Week 32

When your teams combine for 11 goals, there’s a good chance you’ll lead the Team of the Week presented by Audi – and that’s exactly what’s happened with Inter Miami CF and New York City FC in Week 32.


NYCFC stormed past D.C. United 6-0 to reclaim an Eastern Conference place in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs race, sparked by Valentin Castellanos’ first-half brace. Left back Malte Amundsen’s two assists procured a bench spot for a 4-3-3 formation that's overseen by head coach Ronny Deila.

As for Inter Miami, they rolled FC Cincinnati 5-1 behind Gonzalo Higuain's best MLS game yet. The longtime Argentina national team forward had one goal and three assists, while his older brother, Federico Higuain, pitched in one goal and one assist.

The other forward is Adam Buksa of the New England Revolution, with the Poland international scoring twice late to salvage a 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC on the same weekend where they won the 2021 MLS Supporters’ Shield.

The midfield trio has two goalscorers in Minnesota's Osvaldo Alonso and Sporting KC's Remi Walter. Alonso netted the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with LAFC, while Walter’s early strike jump-started a 2-1 win over Seattle and narrowed pursuits of the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed. The third midfielder is Austin FC captain Alex Ring, whose late assist proved vital in a 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC.

At center back, Sean Nealis (New York Red Bulls) and Jack Elliott (Philadelphia Union) both displayed their all-around impact. Nealis struck the late winner in a 2-1 win at Columbus, while Elliott was ever-steady in a 1-0 win over Nashville SC that moved them into the East’s No. 2 spot.

The backline also features Colorado's Braian Galvan on the left and Vancouver's Bruno Gaspar on the right. Galvan had two assists in a crucial 2-0 win over Portland, then Gaspar scored in a 1-1 draw with San Jose that kept them in the West’s playoff places.

Chicago Fire FC homegrown Gabriel Slonina snagged the goalkeeper spot, continuing his emergence onto the national stage. The 17-year-old posted a five-save shutout in a 1-0 blanking of Real Salt Lake.

Team of the Week (4-3-3, left to right): Gabriel Slonina (CHI) – Braian Galvan (COL), Sean Nealis (RBNY), Jack Elliott (PHI), Bruno Gaspar (VAN) – Osvaldo Alonso (MIN), Remi Walter (SKC), Alex Ring (ATX) – Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Adam Buksa (NE), Valentin Castellanos (NYC)

Coach: Ronny Deila (NYC)

Bench: James Pantemis (MTL), Malte Amundsen (NYC), Auston Trusty (COL), Jonathan Osorio (TOR), Sebastian Lletget (LA), Federico Higuain (MIA), Franco Jara (DAL)


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.