The LA Galaxy have experienced plenty of ebbs and flows during their 2022 MLS season, though Week 18 produced a wave they’re riding into Team of the Week presented by Audi frontrunner status.
Paced by a brace from midfielder Rayan Raveloson and two assists from right back Julian Araujo, LA earned a 4-0 home win over CF Montréal to cap July 4th weekend in style. The resounding bounceback over the previous Eastern Conference leaders gives Greg Vanney top coach honors.
Let’s move to the forward line, where D.C. United’s Taxi Fountas had a hat trick in a thrilling 5-3 win at Orlando City SC. New York City FC striker Taty Castellanos reignited his Golden Boot presented by Audi case with a brace in a 2-2 draw against Atlanta United. And, lastly, Benji Kikanovic of the San Jose Earthquakes bagged his own brace in a 2-1 win over Chicago Fire FC.
Raveloson is joined in midfield by Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota United FC), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers) and Andres Cubas (Vancouver Whitecaps FC). Reynoso’s two-goal, one-assist performance was the difference in a 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake. Williamson’s second-half introduction (with an assist) helped spark a 2-2 draw at Nashville SC, and Cubas’ late winner sunk Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC in a 1-0 result.
Araujo is joined in defense by Austin FC left back Jon Gallagher and New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long. Gallagher posted two assists in ATX's 3-2 win at the Colorado Rapids, and Long’s air-mail header was the difference in RBNY's 1-0 win at Sporting Kansas City.
The goalkeeper spot belongs to Andre Blake. The Philadelphia Union man was his dominant self in a 0-0 draw at the Columbus Crew, posting a five-save shutout that included a penalty kick stop.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Andre Blake (PHI) – Jon Gallagher (ATX), Aaron Long (RBNY), Julian Araujo (LA) – Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Eryk Williamson (POR), Andres Cubas (VAN), Rayan Raveloson (LA) – Benji Kikanovic (SJ), Taty Castellanos (NYC), Taxi Fountas (DC)
Coach: Greg Vanney (LA)
Bench: JT Marcinkowski (SJ), Damion Lowe (MIA), Sean Davis (NSH), Sebastian Driussi (ATX), Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA), Gustavo Bou (NE), Andre Shinyashiki (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.