🥉Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota United)
One of many who starred in Minnesota United’s 4-0 thrashing of Puebla, Bongokuhle thoroughly embarrassed the Liga MX club.
The South African was a hot knife through butter, simply running past defenders or taking advantage of large amounts of space. Puebla’s calamitous defending allowed the 23-year-old winger to exploit them fully, and he opened the scoring in the 24th minute, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
With Minnesota sitting deep, the club routinely initiated counters, something Puebla could not defend. Down to ten men for over 60 minutes, Puebla was unable to cope with any runs from deep like on this goal.
Hlongwane finished with two goals and an assist to go along with a quality defensive effort.
🥈Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati)
An MVP candidate for a reason, Lucho Acosta’s fine form has followed him into the Leagues Cup.
Acosta is the key to FC Cincinnati, the team will live and die by how far the Argentine can take them. So of course, down 3-2 in stoppage time and awarded a penalty, it could only be Lucho.
Acosta was, of course, at the center of everything Cincy did. Diligently distributing the ball in the final third and assisting Brandon Vasquez’s equalizer in the 56th minute.
🥇Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota United)
Another standout from the destruction of Puebla. The attacking midfielder and Hlongwane had identical contributions to the game, scoring two goals and an assist each. Reynoso had his own highlights, including a brilliant free kick.
Reynoso tore through Puebla’s midfield, completing 6-of-7 dribbles and winning possession for Minnesota plenty of times.
As Puebla was falling flat, Reynoso was orchestrating a masterpiece.
Honorable Mentions: Drake Callender (MIA), Andrew Gutman (COL), Jose Rivero (CAZ), Griffin Dorsey (HOU), Lionel Messi (MIA), Bernard Kamungo (DAL), Cucho Hernández (CLB), Julián Carranza (PHI)