From strikers reminding us why they’re so highly rated to midfielders scoring long-range golazos, Week 17’s MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi has no shortage of starpower.
The nine-match round, spread across Wednesday and Thursday, counts FC Cincinnati’s Brenner, CF Montréal’s Mason Toye and LAFC’s Carlos Vela as its three forwards. Brenner had the first hat-trick in Cincy history during a thrilling 4-4 draw against New York City FC; Toye scored twice in his first start in nearly 11 months (shoulder surgery) to fuel a 2-1 win at Seattle Sounders FC; and Vela had two assists in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas to celebrate his new Designated Player contract.
Two attack-minded midfielders netted braces, too, in Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota United FC) and Santiago Moreno (Portland Timbers). Reynoso powered a 3-2 win at the LA Galaxy to snap MNUFC’s four-game losing streak across all competitions, while Moreno’s double sent 10-man Portland to a 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo FC as they further capitalize on home cooking.
The other midfielders are Chicago Fire FC’s Federico Navarro and Austin FC’s Daniel Pereira, both of whom netted outside-the-box blasts to seal 1-0 results. For Navarro, that meant knocking off then-Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union at home. For Pereira, that meant ATX matching wins (9) and points (31) totals from their 2021 expansion season at the year’s halfway point upon beating newcomers Charlotte FC.
The defensive unit has three center backs in Chicago’s Carlos Teran, LAFC’s Sebastien Ibeagha and New York Red Bulls’ Sean Nealis. Teran helped blanky Philly; Ibeagha made his case for minutes as Eddie Segura returns from injury and Giorgio Chiellini arrives; and Nealis impressed in a 2-1 home win over Atlanta United.
Columbus Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room commanded his box and made six saves in a 2-1 win at Toronto FC. And the coach spot goes to Montréal’s Wilfried Nancy after his team knocked off the Concacaf Champions League-winning Sounders at Lumen Field to move atop the Eastern Conference table.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Eloy Room (CLB) – Carlos Teran (CHI), Sebastien Ibeagha (LAFC), Sean Nealis (RBNY) – Daniel Pereira (ATX), Federico Navarro (CHI), Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Santiago Moreno (POR) – Brenner (CIN), Mason Toye (MTL), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Coach: Wilfried Nancy (MTL)
Bench: Brad Stuver (ATX), Joel Waterman (MTL), Jose Cifuentes (LAFC), Luciano Acosta (CIN), Serge Ngoma (RBNY), Jacen Russell-Rowe (CLB), Heber (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.