mls team of the week

LAFC forward Carlos Vela and midfielder Ilie Sánchez have been selected to the first MLS Team of the Week of 2022. Carlos Vela scored all three goals for LAFC as he recorded the third hat trick of his MLS career and just the fifth hat trick ever recorded on an MLS Opening Day.

“We will have to wait and see what it does. But I think we all know what he can do,” Head Coach Steve Cherundolo said. “And he showed it again today and he worked very hard in preseason to get to where he is today. That is a message that I’ve been very clear with him and our communication has been great. He knows to be able to play like that, he needs to put in the work and he did. And I'm very happy for him and the group that we're all rewarded for it.”

Ilie put forth a sterling performance in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids Saturday at Banc of California Stadium, drawing effusive praise from new boss Steve Cherundolo.

"Tactically didn't make a mistake, didn’t step wrong once, was able to control the tempo of the game for us," Cherundolo said. "He found very good spots offensively. He made good decisions, he made very few mistakes on the ball. An excellent performance, a consistent high level, which is what we expected. On top of that, he brings leadership skills and he's a wonderful human being in the locker room as well. So to use from another sport, it's a slam dunk for LAFC."

Here's the rest of the team:

F: Josef Martinez (ATL), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

M: Cecilio Dominguez (ATX), Ilie Sánchez (LAFC), Anibal Godoy (NSH), Lucas Zelarayan (CLB), Yimmi Chara (POR)

D: Raheem Edwards (LA), Antonio Carlos (ORL), Jakheele Marshall-Rutty (TOR)

GK: Bill Hamid (DC)

Bench: Gabriel Slonina (CHI), Damion Lowe (MIA), Frankie Amaya (RBNY), Carles Gil (NE), Robin Lod (MIN), Michael Estrada (DC), Chicharito (LA)

Coach: Gary Smith (NSH)

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