Welcome to my MLS Weekly Awards. I’ll be breaking down some of the biggest happenings in Major League Soccer each week, plus handing out some awards for who I feel deserve them. I’ll also be including a weekly update on what I feel is the MLS MVP ladder.
MLS jumped back into a full schedule with a bang this weekend as all 28 teams were in action across 14 matches on either Saturday and Sunday, with all matches being fairly competitive. There were five draws, and the biggest margin of the weekend was two goals (four matches ended 2-0). Every match had at least one goal, but none had more than three combined. It was a pretty unique week in the regard that every match ended with a scoreline of either 1-1, 2-1, or 2-0.
LAFC (30 points) still sits atop the Supporter’s Shield race, but their draw over the weekend saw their lead trimmed to just two points (over Real Salt Lake who now has 28 points after a 2-0 win). Austin and NYCFC are both three points back with 27.
Match of the Week
We’ll start out with my first award which is for Match of the Week. This was a tough one to choose this week since so many matches were close, competitive, and entertaining. However I ultimately decided to go with a draw between the top team in the league and another strong side in the West:
Match of the Week: LAFC 1-Seattle Sounders 1
This was one of the most anticipated matches heading into the weekend between two squads currently above the playoff line in the west. LAFC is sitting atop the Supporter’s Shield race with a couple of points to spare. Meanwhile Seattle has arguably been the best franchise in MLS over the last five or so years and just won the CONCACAF Champions League.
This contest itself lived up to the hype as the two battled to a 1-1 draw at Lumen Field in Seattle in front of an announced crowd of 34,642. After being scoreless at the half, things cranked up in the 2nd half. Albert Rusnak put Seattle up in the 58th minute after a bad mistake at the back from Los Angeles (and Rusnak made up for it after he arguably should have scored in the first half). Cristian Arango evened things up with a 79th minute header to send the match to a draw on a ball that had pin-balled around.
LAFC ended up with seven shots on target while Seattle put forward five (Seattle ended up with a slight advantage in total shots with 13 to LAFC’s 11). Both teams passed the ball really well, with both completing over 80% of their passes (84% for Seattle and 82% for LAFC). It was also a strong match all around for Rusnak (outside of the misses).