The first double game week of the 2021 MLS season was especially lucrative for the Seattle Sounders, who carry the Week 5 Team of the Week presented by Audi.
The backline includes both Sounders center back Xavier Arreaga and wingback Alex Roldan, while the midfield contains Cristian Roldan and head coach Brian Schmetzer mans the bench.
Cristian Roldan netted a scorching left-footed volley in a 1-0 win over San Jose midweek, then logged a true captain’s performance during the weekend’s 2-0 victory over LAFC. Arreaga headed home the opener against LAFC and helped them pitch two shutouts.
Alex Roldan had a peach of an assist against LAFC and showed strong two-way play, though his highlight was deputizing at goalkeeper after Stefan Frei got injured at San Jose, making three saves in stoppage time. And Schmetzer, even with key players out, continues to push all the right buttons during this league-leading 5W-0L-1D start (16 points).
The Portland Timbers also had multiple representatives on the Team of the Week, with goalkeeper Logan Ketterer and midfielder Eryk Williamson both making the cut. Ketterer stopped a penalty kick during a 2-0 win at San Jose on Saturday, joining the club two days prior on loan from USL Championship side El Paso Locomotive FC under the Extreme Hardship roster rule. Meanwhile, Williamson had two assists and assembled arguably his most complete performance to date in MLS.
The forward group is paced by big-name stars Gonzalo Higuain and Alan Pulido, who both bagged braces in wins this past Sunday. Higuain helped Inter Miami CF spoil FC Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium opener during a 3-2 victory, while Pulido sparked Sporting Kansas City's 3-0 romp of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Elsewhere in the starting XI, Robin Lod led Minnesota United FC's bounceback week with six points from six at Allianz Field. The Finland international scored a stoppage-time game-winner in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas and has goal contributions in the Loons’ last four matches.
Colorado Rapids midfielder Michael Barrios, who had two assists in a 3-1 step past Houston Dynamo FC, rounds out the side. So do LA Galaxy right back Julian Araujo and Orlando City SC center back Antonio Carlos for their key roles in shutout victories over the weekend.
Team of the Week (4-4-2, left to right): Logan Ketterer (POR) – Julian Araujo (LA), Xavier Arreaga (SEA), Antonio Carlos (ORL), Alex Roldan (SEA) – Michael Barrios (COL), Eryk Williamson (POR), Cristian Roldan (SEA), Robin Lod (MIN) – Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Alan Pulido (SKC)
Coach: Brian Schmetzer (SEA)
Bench: Tyler Miller (MIN), Jacob Shaffelburg (TOR), Jesus Medina (NYC), Jamiro Monteiro (PHI), Carles Gil (NE), Marcelino Moreno (ATL), Bjorn Johnsen (MTL)
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.