One defender and one attacker represented Sporting Kansas City on MLSsoccer.com’s latest Team of the Week.
Right back Saad Abdul-Salaam and winger Gerso were selected as two of Week 15’s best performers on Monday as Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City extended their club-record home unbeaten streak to 17 regular season matches with a 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact on Saturday night.
Gerso opened the scoring after 24 minutes, netting his team-best sixth goal of the season after racing onto an exquisite long ball over the top from Ilie. The diminutive Designated Player also created two chances, won five duels, completed 24 of his 28 passes and finished with a game-high eight touches in the opponent’s box.
Abdul-Salaam, who scored his first MLS goal a week earlier in a 3-0 win over Minnesota United FC, made his second start of 2017 on Saturday and helped Sporting KC preserve 66 percent possession while completing 40 of 47 passes.
Ilie — who recorded his first MLS assist on Gerso’s early strike — notably joined goalkeeper Tim Melia on the Team of the Week bench. Ilie again anchored the midfield with 80 passes completed, the second most of any MLS player in Week 15. He also won five duels and created another scoring chance to go along with his helper to Gerso.
Melia, meanwhile, produced a superb save early in the second half to deny Ignacio Piatti’s well-struck bid for an equalizer. The keeper finished with six saves, one shy of equaling his career-high, and continues to lead MLS with eight shutouts, a 0.69 goals against average and a 79.4 save percentage.
Sporting Kansas City will now shift gears for Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round clash with Minnesota United FC at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. CT.