After games on Saturday AND Sunday, Matchday 10 has a podium.
🥉 Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
The Podium has been missing defenders recently, and it’s about time someone stepped up. This week, that man was Walker Zimmerman.
In the 36th minute, the USMNT defender deflected a corner right into the path of teammate Fafa Picault to record his first assist and put Nashville up 1-0 on Atlanta United.
Zimmerman was a calming presence in a backline-facing MVP frontrunner Thiago Almada. The 29-year-old kept Atlanta’s forwards at bay, getting himself in perfect positions to impede any progress.
An area Zimmerman has shown improvement this season has been his passing and Saturday’s performance was one of his finest, completing all five of his long balls to give Nashville a threat from the back.
🥈 Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus Crew)
Columbus may have suffered the biggest upset of the weekend, but what better consolation than to make it back on the podium? A dazzling display of midfield dominance has the Armenian in second.
Zelarayán’s passing shined early, assisting Cucho Hernández in the 10th minute, to draw Columbus level at 1-1. From then on, the midfielder continued to harass Inter Miami in the final third. Unfortunately, there would be no more rewards for his incredible performance.
Inter Miami struggled to cope with Zelarayán’s dribbling, as he coasted through midfield en route to setting up several scoring opportunities.
Aside from his attacking threat, Zelarayán’s pressing was the best on the field by a wide margin, winning 13-of-16 ground duels.
🥇Mathieu Choinière (CF Montréal)
Choinière did precisely what you are supposed to do against the worst team in the league and exerted absolute control over the game.
It’s odd to call any win over this dreadful Sporting KC team an upset, but in Kansas City, that is what CF Montréal’s 2-0 win was. For both goals, Choinière fingerprints were all over.
The Canadian helped open the scoring by playing through Bryce Duke in the 35th minute before notching his own goal eleven minutes later.
A complete performance, most of Choinière’s shift was spent defending in his own half, where the midfielder successfully pressed and snuffed out several KC attacks, denying Sporting any chance to get back in the game.