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Earthquakes, Hany Mukhtar headline Best of MLS for Week 26


Among the surprising results in Week 26 of MLS play, Nashville SC’s 4-0 win over FC Dallas showed that Gary Smith’s side could regain its grasp of a dynamic attack and factor into the playoff race as it comes to a head.

Hany Mukhtar propelled Nashville to the result with two goals and one assist in the opening 34 minutes. Among many surprising results over the weekend came a 2-1 win for the San Jose Earthquakes, halting LAFC’s seven-match winning streak.

A couple of memorable goals came from Toronto FC’s Domenico Criscito and Atlanta United’s Santiago Sosa. Sosa scored his first MLS goal against the Crew with a powerful shot from outside the box.

Here are the top moments of Week 26 action in MLS.

Player of the Week

Nashville SC’s performance in a 4-0 win over FC Dallas on Sunday was exactly what Gary Smith’s side needed to reinject some energy amidst a poor run of form. Hany Mukhtar was in outstanding form, with two goals and an assist all in the space of 34 minutes.

Mukhtar scored from a difficult angle to give Nashville the lead in the fifth minute. Mukhtar fooled a defender with a stepover, driving into the box before allowing Jacob Shaffelburg to make it 2-0.

Finally, Mukhtar scored with a beautiful free kick that landed in the top right corner.

Honorable Mention for Player of the Week goes to Santiago Rodriguez, whose one goal and one assist gave New York City FC some relief from a recent slide in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire. Sporting KC’s William Agada continues to be a late-season revelation, with two goals in a 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers. Cucho Hernandez willed the Columbus Crew to a 2-2 draw, scoring two goals at home against Atlanta United.

Team of the Week

The 2022 season has been tumultuous for the San Jose Earthquakes, but there have been a few silver linings. For one, Jeremy Ebobisse is having a career year with 14 goals. Another young attacker, Benji Kikanovic, has emerged in recent weeks, too.

Kikanovic notched one goal, and Cade Cowell scored an emphatic volley to help the Quakes earn a rousing 2-1 win at PayPal Park Saturday night. The win halted LAFC’s winning streak at seven games.

The goal is Cowell’s second of the 2022 season. The Quakes could find some motivation to keep pushing until the end of the season with the announcement that former FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez will lead the team in 2023. Interim coach Alex Covelo will remain in his role for the rest of the season.

Honorable mention for Team of the Week goes to the Philadelphia Union, which completed its second demolition job of D.C. United this season. Julian Carranza scored a hat trick in the Union’s 6-0 win at Audi Field. Minnesota United further proved it’s legitimacy in the Western Conference with a 2-1 win over Austin FC.

Goal of the Week

Santiago Sosa’s first goal in an Atlanta United uniform is one to remember.

Sosa, an Argentine midfielder who joined the Five Stripes in February, uncorked this shot from beyond the 18-yard box, giving Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room no chance at making a save.

A clear competitor to this goal for Goal of the Week is Domenico Criscito’s incredible volley to make it 2-2 against the Revolution. Honorable mention for Goal of the Week goes to Cade Cowell, whose powerful, well-timed volley allowed the Quakes to shock LAFC and Julian Carranza, whose first goal of his hat trick was a curler that landed in the top left corner.

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