Right before Heineken Rivalry Week gets underway, some of the league’s biggest names produced to lead the Week 20 Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Look no further than the forward pairing, where Gonzalo Higuain had two assists in Inter Miami CF’s dramatic 3-2 win over Chicago Fire FC. He’s joined by Golden Boot presented by Audi leader Raul Ruidiaz, who curled home his league-leading 14th goal of the year less than a minute after subbing on in the Seattle Sounders' 1-0 win at FC Dallas.
In wide positions, Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi and Real Salt Lake winger Anderson Julio both supplied the dramatics with late goals. Salloi’s 12th of the year came in the 92nd minute and salvaged Sporting’s 1-1 home draw against the Portland Timbers, while Julio came off the bench to snag an 88th-minute winner in RSL’s 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC.
But the biggest statement may belong to the Colorado Rapids, who earned a 2-1 win at the LA Galaxy, a result that could alter the Western Conference’s top-four picture. That puts Robin Fraser as head coach, while wingback/wide midfielder Braian Galvan created promising chances and continued his strong season since a mid-2020 arrival from Argentine side Club Atlético Colón.
More goalscorers appear in midfield, where Tommy McNamara got the ball rolling on the New England Revolution’s 3-2 comeback win over D.C. United, which further extended their Supporters’ Shield lead. Meanwhile, Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco bent home (with the help of a deflection) the 1-0 decider against Toronto FC to continue his fine form since returning from representing Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics.
The last midfield spot goes to Vancouver Whitecaps FC No. 10 Ryan Gauld, whose halftime introduction sparked his side’s 2-1 win at expansion strugglers Austin FC. The club’s newest Designated Player is building toward his first start, and showing the quality that paced him in Portugal’s top-flight.
Aside from Galvan, the defense includes Philadelphia Union left back Kai Wagner and Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman. Wagner supplied the assist in Philadelphia’s big 1-0 win over New York City FC, while Zimmerman was strong in his first start (1-1 draw with Orlando) since suffering a hamstring injury while with the US men’s national team at this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
Team of the Week (3-5-2, left to right): Carlos Coronel (RBNY) – Kai Wagner (PHI), Walker Zimmerman (NSH), Braian Galvan (COL) – Daniel Salloi (SKC), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Tommy McNamara (NE), Ezequiel Barco (ATL), Anderson Julio (RSL) – Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Raul Ruidiaz (SEA)
Coach: Robin Fraser (COL)
Bench: Sebastian Breza (MTL), Miles Robinson (ATL), John Tolkin (RBNY), Wil Trapp (MIN), Luka Stojanovic (CHI), Emmanuel Boateng (NE), Felipe Mora (POR)
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.