Toronto captain Michael Bradley turned back the clock with a brace in their 4-0 rout of visiting Charlotte FC, highlighted by debuts from Italian international forwards Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne after their summertime arrivals. The new Designated Players both went 45 minutes before being subbed off, plenty of time for Bernardeschi to earn 1g/1a and a bench spot.
RBNY blitzed Supporters’ Shield-contending Austin FC at Q2 Stadium for a 4-3 win that started the Sunday slate. They were led by 1g/1a from midfielder Dru Yearwood, while head coach Gerhard Struber gets top coaching honors after deploying a starting lineup with four teenagers that staved off a furious comeback attempt led by Austin midfielder Sebastian Driussi (two goals, bench spot).
Chicago Fire FC star Xherdan Shaqiri joins the midfield group after posting 1g/1a to pace a 3-1 road win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, perhaps the club-record signing’s best game since arriving during the offseason from Ligue 1’s Lyon. Shaqiri leads Chicago in goals (4) and assists (8) as they’ve now won five of eight games to move within two points of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.
The flanks belong to US international Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC) and South African international Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota United FC). Morris scored and drew a penalty kick in Seattle’s 2-1 comeback win over the visiting Colorado Rapids, as the 10-man hosts snapped a three-game losing streak. Hlongwane had 1g/1a in Minnesota’s 2-1 win at Houston Dynamo FC as they reached six games unbeaten (5W-0L-1D) to take third place in the Western Conference table.
LAFC striker Cristian Arango had 1g/1a in their 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City, including a goal in a third-straight game and set-up on Gareth Bale’s first tally for the Supporters’ Shield leaders. Arango is joined up top by CF Montréal forward Romell Quioto after his brace powered a 2-1 win at D.C. United.
The backline features three central defenders: Jakob Glesnes (Philadelphia Union), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution) and Michael Boxall (Minnesota). Glesnes had a headed assist on Daniel Gazdag’s 1-0 corner-kick winner at Orlando City SC; Kessler’s goal-line heroics helped silence Cucho Hernandez and the Columbus Crew in a 0-0 road draw; and Boxall was nearly flawless as Minnesota stayed red-hot.
Team of the Week (3-5-2, left to right): Aljaz Ivacic (POR) – Jakob Glesnes (PHI), Henry Kessler (NE), Michael Boxall (MIN) – Jordan Morris (SEA), Michael Bradley (TOR), Xherdan Shaqiri (CHI), Dru Yearwood (RBNY), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (MIN) – Cristian Arango (LAFC), Romell Quioto (MTL)
Coach: Gerhard Struber (RBNY)
Bench: Maarten Paes (DAL), Rafael Czichos (CHI), Sebastian Driussi (ATX), Maxi Moralez (NYC), Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA), Federico Bernardeschi (TOR), Dairon Asprilla (POR)
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.