For the first time in 2019, three MNUFC players will feature in the MLS Team of the Week. Ike Opara and Jan Gregus were named starters with Darwin Quintero joining them on the bench for for Week 17.
Opara makes his third appearances in the Team of the Week this year, last earning the honor in Week 10. The centerback got the Loons on the board by knocking home a deflection off the goalkeeper 18 minutes into last weekend’s game against FC Cincinnati. He got his brace in the 70th minute with a header off a service from Gregus. Defensively, he made three headed clearances, won two take-ons and a successful tackle.
Gregus makes his first appearance in the Team of the Week after setting a new club record. His three assists — a gentleman’s hat trick — against Cincinnati set a new single-game high for the Loons, and he nearly had a few more. He got his first on Hassani Dotson’s eventual game winner in the 23rd minute, found Opara for his second and sent in a great through ball to Mason Toye for his third of the afternoon. He also got a shot on target from long range and made 28 passes in the Cincinnati half.
Darwin Quintero returns to the Team of the Week on the bench. This is his first appearance since Week 2 of the season. The Designated Player was a key playmaker for the Loons with a pair of assists to Ethan Finlay and Angelo Rodriguez in the first half this weekend. It was his first time getting on the score sheet after a nine-game drought in league play.
See the full Team of the Week for Week 17 below:
F: Meram (ATL), Rooney (DC), Castellanos (NYC)
M: Vako (SJ), Gregus (MIN), Chara (POR), Moralez (NYC)
D: Vines (COL), Opara (MIN), Leerdam (SEA)
GK: Robles (RBNY)
Bench: MacMath (VAN), Glad (RSL), Nani (ORL), Thompson (SJ), Quintero (MIN), Okwonkwo (MTL), Bunbury (NE)
Coach: Matias Almeyda (SJ)