LAFC beat the Colorado Rapids, 3-0, in head coach Steve Cherundolo’s debut behind a vintage Carlos Vela performance, with the Mexican star netting a hat trick inside the first 50 minutes. Ilie Sanchez, an offseason free-agency signing after five seasons at Sporting Kansas City, was fantastic for the Black & Gold in the No. 6 role.
Meanwhile, Nashville went to Seattle Sounders FC and earned a 1-0 win behind Anibal Godoy’s first goal since the 2020 campaign. That result also placed Gary Smith as Week 1’s top head coach, taking three points from the Rave Green after they booked a Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal spot midweek.
Vela is joined up top by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez, whose two assists showed a different dimension to the Venezuelan star’s game in a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. Two other attackers are Cecilio Dominguez (Austin FC) and Yimmi Chara (Portland Timbers), with Dominguez bagging a brace in a 5-0 rout of FC Cincinnati and Chara’s stunning bicycle kick salvaging a 2-2 draw vs. the New England Revolution, Supporters' Shield winners in 2021.
D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made five saves in a 3-0 shutout of expansion newcomers Charlotte FC, and he’s guarded by a three-man backline that’s anchored centrally by Antonio Carlos (Orlando City SC). The Lions blanked CF Montréal, 2-0, in their home opener.
The fullbacks are Raheem Edwards (LA Galaxy) on the left and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (Toronto FC) on the right. Edwards had the game-winning assist in a 1-0 win over defending MLS Cup champions New York City FC; Marshall-Rutty, 17, looked assured in both directions during a one-all draw at FC Dallas.
Team of the Week (3-5-2, left to right): Bill Hamid (DC) – Raheem Edwards (LA), Antonio Carlos (ORL), Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (TOR) – Cecilio Dominguez (ATX), Ilie Sanchez (LAFC), Anibal Godoy (NSH), Lucas Zelarayan (CLB), Yimmi Chara (POR) – Josef Martinez (ATL), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Coach: Gary Smith (NSH)
Bench: Gabriel Slonina (CHI), Damion Lowe (MIA), Frankie Amaya (RBNY), Carles Gil (NE), Robin Lod (MIN), Michael Estrada (DC), Chicharito (LA)
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.