The Portland Timbers have almost an entire starting XI’s worth of players on the injury shelf, though that didn't stop the Western Conference side from pacing the Week 6 Team of the Week presented by Audi.
After a 3-0 home win over the LA Galaxy, right back Josecarlos Van Rankin and forward Felipe Mora both slotted into the 4-3-3 formation. Van Rankin factored into all three goals once the Galaxy went down to 10 men, and Mora bagged his second-ever brace with Portland after subbing on for the injured Andy Polo.
Multi-goal games were a theme throughout the Team of the Week, with Columbus Crew star Lucas Zelarayan netting two free kicks in a 2-1 win at New York City FC. Almost single-handedly, the Argentine No. 10 gave the defending MLS Cup champions a much-needed result.
Diego Rossi scored twice as well, with his tallies giving LAFC a 2-1 win over the visiting Colorado Rapids. Last year’s Golden Boot presented by Audi winner, Rossi has three goals in LAFC’s last three games after an injury sidelined him to start the season. Such were the number of impressive performances from forward players in Week 6, that we're squeezing Rossi in to the midfield three.
One goal and one assist apiece punctuated strong weekends for New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou and Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido. Both Designated Players are helping their respective teams challenge the Seattle Sounders for the early Supporters’ Shield lead.
The defense also includes newly-acquired FC Cincinnati center back Geoff Cameron and Orlando City SC center back Antonio Carlos, as well as FC Dallas left back Ryan Hollingshead after he scored late in a 2-2 home draw against Real Salt Lake.
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, last year’s Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, had seven saves in a 1-0 win at D.C. United. And Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Memo Rodriguez continues to thrive under head coach Tab Ramos, netting the opener in a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam manages the side after leading the Eastern Conference side to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over CF Montréal. They shifted to a three-man backline with wingbacks, then substitute Jurgen Locadia scored to give FCC their first win of 2021 and momentum heading into their second-ever match at brand-new TQL Stadium.
Team of the Week (4-3-3, left to right): Andre Blake (PHI) – Ryan Hollingshead (DAL), Geoff Cameron (CIN), Antonio Carlos (ORL), Josecarlos Van Rankin (POR) – Lucas Zelarayan (CLB), Memo Rodriguez (HOU), Diego Rossi (LAFC) – Alan Pulido (SKC), Gustavo Bou (NE), Felipe Mora (POR)
Coach: Jaap Stam (CIN)
Bench: Pedro Gallese (ORL), Nouhou Tolo (SEA), Jakob Glesnes (PHI), Mauricio Pineda (CHI), Randall Leal (NSH), Arnor Traustason (NE), Josef Martinez (ATL)
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.