After making the first head coaching changes of the 2022 MLS season, D.C. United and the San Jose Earthquakes responded emphatically to lead Week 8’s Team of the Week presented by Audi.
D.C. United’s 3-2 comeback win over the New England Revolution was powered by two goals and one assist from attacker Taxi Fountas. The Greek international was handed his first start by interim boss Chad Ashton, who replaced Hernan Losada midweek and snapped a four-game league losing streak.
For San Jose, a hat trick from winger Cristian Espinoza spearheaded a 4-3 comeback win over the Concacaf Champions League Final-bound Seattle Sounders FC. That ended a seven-game, season-opening winless stretch for the Quakes and gives coach of the week honors to interim manager Alex Covelo after he spelled the departed Matias Almeyda.
The forward line is led by Inter Miami CF’s Leonardo Campana, Austin FC’s Maxi Urruti and Toronto FC’s Jesus Jimenez – all of whom are mounting Golden Boot presented by Audi cases. Campana had 1g/1a in a 2-1 win over Atlanta United as the Ecuadorian international’s influence further grows; Urruti’s brace sparked a 3-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the Verde's Q2 Stadium fortress; and Jimenez’s brace was a high mark from TFC’s supremely entertaining 5-4 loss at New York City FC.
The central midfield is patrolled by Minnesota United FC’s Emanuel Reynoso and LAFC’s Kellyn Acosta. Reynoso provided 1g/1a in a 3-0 victory over Chicago Fire FC as his centrality in LoonsLand continues, while Acosta’s equalizer got a 2-1 comeback win at FC Cincinnati rolling for the Supporters' Shield leaders.
The backline features three center backs: Derrick Williams (LA Galaxy), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) and Kortne Ford (Sporting Kansas City). Williams had the game-winning assist in a 1-0 home triumph over Nashville SC; Long anchored RBNY’s historic 3-0 win at Orlando City SC; and Ford was lockdown in a 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew.
The goalkeeper spot belongs to William Yarbrough, whose five-save shutout gave the Colorado Rapids a 0-0 draw against Charlotte FC.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): William Yarbrough (COL) – Derrick Williams (LA), Aaron Long (RBNY), Kortne Ford (SKC) – Taxi Fountas (DC), Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Cristian Espinoza (SJ) – Maxi Urruti (ATX), Leonardo Campana (MIA), Jesus Jimenez (TOR)
Coach: Alex Covelo (SJ)
Bench: Roman Celentano (CIN), Bill Tuiloma (POR), Sebastian Driussi (ATX), Carles Gil (NE), Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA), Alan Velasco (DAL), Taty Castellanos (NYC)
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.