Audi Team of the Week: MLS games exploded back into life in Week 1 of the 2022 season, with impressive performances from LAFC and Nashville SC – who upset last year’s top two Western Conference seeds.
With a vintage Carlos Vela effort, LAFC defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0 in head coach Steve Cherundolo’s debut, with the Mexican star scoring a hat trick inside the first 50 minutes. Ilie Sanchez, a free agent after five seasons with Sporting Kansas City, was terrific in the No. 6 spot for the Black & Gold.
Meanwhile, Nashville Sounders FC defeated Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 thanks to Anibal Godoy’s first goal since the 2020 season. Gary Smith was named Week 1’s top head coach after stealing three points from the Rave Green after they qualified for the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals midweek.
Vela is joined at the top by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez, whose two assists in a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City added a new dimension to the Venezuelan star’s game. Cecilio Dominguez (Austin FC) and Yimmi Chara (Portland Timbers) are two additional attackers, with Dominguez scoring a brace in a 5-0 demolition of FC Cincinnati and Chara’s astonishing bicycle kick rescuing a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution, who won the Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
Lucas Zelarayan of the Columbus Crew, who has 1g/1a in a 4-0 thrashing of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, completes the center midfield trio alongside Ilie and Godoy.
Bill Hamid, the goalie for D.C. United, made five saves in a 3-0 shutout against expansion newcomers Charlotte FC, and he’s protected by a three-man backline led by Antonio Carlos (Orlando City SC). In their home debut, the Lions blanked CF Montréal 2-0.
Raheem Edwards (LA Galaxy) on the left and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (Toronto FC) on the right are the fullbacks. Marshall-Rutty, 17, looked assured in both directions during a one-all draw at FC Dallas. Edwards had the game-winning assist in a 1-0 win over defending MLS Cup champions New York City FC; 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.
Audi 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’s objectives propel the company forward.
MLS Academies have been acknowledged as one of the most essential resources in North America for developing on-field talent. Audi has invested $1 million per season to the Audi Goals Drive Progress project, which aims to promote academies around the league and drive progress for the sport.
Audi will provide $500 for every goal scored during the regular season to the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund, which will directly benefit each MLS Club Youth Academy.