The Philadelphia Union closed out their dominant July in convincing fashion and two 4-4 games were completed on the same day for the first time in MLS history, headlining Week 23’s Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Philadelphia stayed atop the Eastern Conference table with a 6-0 shellacking of Houston Dynamo FC, a result that included three assists from midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and a brace from striker Mikael Uhre. Center back Jakob Glesnes put on a passing and defensive clinic as well.
The Saturday slate began with Minnesota and Portland battling to a 4-4 draw, a match that included two goals and a forced own goal from Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco. It also had a two-goal, one-assist performance from Loons striker Luis Amarilla as both clubs extended their lengthy unbeaten streaks (seven for Minnesota, eight for Portland).
The other 4-4 match saw Inter Miami CF rescue a home draw vs. FC Cincinnati, with Gonzalo Higuain bagging a first-half hat trick for the hosts. Brandon Vazquez (on the bench) and Brenner both had braces for the visitors.
Another headline comes from D.C. United, where Wayne Rooney’s head coaching debut produced a memorable 2-1 comeback victory over Orlando City SC that capped the matchweek. Taxi Fountas (on the bench) sealed the result with a 95th-minute winner, the second Black-and-Red goal scored in second-half stoppage time.
The midfield quartet is rounded out by Vancouver Whitecaps FC maestro Ryan Gauld, whose late free-kick service salvaged a 1-1 draw at Nashville SC. Meanwhile, Austin FC star Sebastian Driussi pulled into the Golden Boot presented by Audi lead (14g/7a) with the clincher in a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City, all as the Verde & Black won their league-leading eighth road match of the year.
The starting goalkeeper spot goes to New England Revolution youngster Djordje Petrovic after he denied a late penalty kick from Lorenzo Insigne, preserving a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC and blocking the Italian star’s first MLS goal.
Aside from Glesnes, the backline features LAFC newcomer Giorgio Chiellini and CF Montréal stalwart Kamal Miller. Chiellini showed veteran savvy in his longest MLS runout yet, a 2-1 comeback win over Seattle Sounders FC for the Supporters' Shield leaders. Meanwhile, Miller was key in Montréal holding a Taty Castellanos-less NYCFC to a 0-0 draw at home.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Djordje Petrovic (NE) – Kamal Miller (MTL), Giorgio Chiellini (LAFC), Jakob Glesnes (PHI) – Alejandro Bedoya (PHI), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Sebastian Driussi (ATX), Sebastian Blanco (POR) – Mikael Uhre (PHI), Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Luis Amarilla (MIN)
Coach: Wayne Rooney (DC)
Bench: Maarten Paes (DAL), Juan Jose Purata (ATL), Cristian Espinoza (SJ), Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Taxi Fountas (DC), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Brandon Vazquez (CIN)
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.