Following a huge road win at Providence Park, the Loons departed Portland on Saturday night with three points and two players earning MLS Week 14 Team of the Matchday honors: Michael Boxall and Bongokuhle Hlongwane.
Boxall was an anchor of the back line, keeping the waves of Portland’s consistent attack at bay while also finding inspired bursts into the offense.
Head Coach Adrian Heath was very impressed with the work of the back line during Saturday’s match. “I thought the two center backs [Michael Boxall and Miguel Tapias] were excellent at times,” said Heath. “We defended really well. We got a lot of first balls, and when we didn’t, we were there for the second one, which is always hugely important, especially when the opposition are pushing as many men forward as they do. It didn’t surprise me we made the blocks  because we were in good spots.”
Hlongwane was once again an invigorating presence in the Loons final third and notched the game-winning goal in extra time. With this well-deserved recognition, Bongi has earned a spot on Team of the Matchday for two games in a row.
Hlongwane is delighted that he has contributed so much to his team. “I feel like it is just the moment because in last season, I played so many games without a goal or assists, so I think this time, I’m very happy that I’m performing. I’m very happy.”
See the full MLS Team of the Matchday for Week 14 below:
F: Christian Benteke (DC), Giorgos Giakoumakis (ATL), Ercan Kara (ORL)
M: Indiana Vassilev (STL), Dániel Gazdag (PHI), Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Luciano Acosta (CIN)
D: Tim Parker (STL), Andrés Reyes (RBNY), Michael Boxall (MIN)
GK: Roman Bürki (STL)
Coach: Oscar Pareja (ORL)
Bench: Roman Celentano (CIN), Danny Wilson (COL), Ilie Sánchez (LAFC), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Jáder Obrian (DAL), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (MIN), Maren Haile-Selassie (CHI), Julián Carranza (PHI), Gyasi Zardes (ATX)