Team of the Matchday

Team of the Week presented by Audi: San Jose, Inter Miami surge in Week 21

Heineken Rivalry Week started with a bang thanks to the San Jose Earthquakes, while Inter Miami CF continued their rich vein of form, leading to imprints all over the Week 21 Team of the Week presented by Audi.


San Jose grabbed a 2-1 California Clasico win over the LA Galaxy, a game where Jeremy Ebosisse tallied his first goal for his new club. Head coach Matias Almeyda patrols the Team of the Week sidelines for a rivalry road result that moved San Jose to 10 games unbeaten, and right back Luciano Abecasis appears on the bench as well.

For Inter Miami, midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro is enjoying his best stretch in MLS after the Mexican international scored twice in a 3-1 win over Toronto FC. Center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez put on his playmaker boots in that result, assisting twice and helping the Herons make it four wins in six tries.

Aside from Ebobisse, the striker pairing includes New England Revolution forward Adam Buksa after he recorded two goals and one assist in a 4-1 rout of FC Cincinnati. The Revs lead the Supporters' Shield race with 49 points through 22 games, and they've now won eight of their last nine games.

The backline also includes two other center backs: Xavier Arreaga of the Seattle Sounders and Antonio Carlos of Orlando City SC. Arreaga scored in the Sounders' 2-1 win at the Columbus Crew, starting the comeback charge in a rematch of MLS Cup 2020. As for the Lions' Brazilian defender, he bolstered his Defender of the Year case in a 1-0 shutout of Chicago Fire FC.

It's then a goalscorer's paradise across the five-man midfield group – and that's beyond Pizarro's contributions. Ryan Gauld sealed a dream BC Place return for Vancouver Whitecaps FC with an 89th-minute game-winning header in a 2-1 defeat of LAFC. Mark-Anthony Kaye's 71st-minute header was his first in Colorado Rapids colors since being traded from LAFC, and it secured a 2-1 comeback against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake.

Atlanta United won their fourth straight game, a 2-1 step past D.C. United, in large part thanks to one goal and one assist from Marcelino Moreno. Then Austin FC midfielder Diego Fagundez continued his strong year with his new club, contributing one goal and one assist himself in a 3-1 dispatch of the Portland Timbers at Q2 Stadium.

The goalkeeping spot goes to Sporting Kansas City standout Tim Melia. He posted seven saves in a 0-0 draw at Minnesota United FC, weathering the storm after SKC were reduced to 10 men in the 21st minute through Remi Walter's red card.

Team of the Week (3-5-2, left to right): Tim Melia (SKC) – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (MIA), Xavier Arreaga (SEA), Antonio Carlos (ORL) – Marcelino Moreno (ATL), Rodolfo Pizarro (MIA), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Mark-Anthony Kaye (COL), Diego Fagundez (ATX) – Adam Buksa (NE), Jeremy Ebobisse (SJ)

Coach: Matias Almeyda (SJ)

Bench: Maxime Crepeau (VAN), Nkosi Tafari (DAL), Luciano Abecasis (SJ), Joao Paulo (SEA), Quinn Sullivan (PHI), Tajon Buchanan (NE), Sebastian Driussi (ATX)

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.