Two Sporting Kansas City players were honored on Monday for their performances in the team's 4-1 home triumph over the Portland Timbers as Major League Soccer announced the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 26.
Forward Willy Agada is one of three forwards named to the Team of the Week, while goalkeeper John Pulskamp earned a spot on the Team of the Week Bench. Agada, in just four starts with Sporting KC, has now been included on the Team of the Week twice, while Pulskamp earns his first career MLS Team of the Week selection after only 12 MLS starts.
Agada, who now has five goals in five appearances for Sporting, bagged his second career MLS brace, scoring Sporting's first and fourth goals in a 4-1 thrashing of the Timbers. In the 31st minute, a Graham Zusi cross floated over the head of Johnny Russell, bounced in the box once and was thundered past the keeper by Agada on the half-volley. Two Sporting KC goals and 44 minutes later, Agada slotted home his second following a brilliant diagonal ball from Ben Sweat.
The Nigerian newcomer is the second player in Sporting history to tally five goals in the span of three regular season appearances, joining Eddie Johnson who achieved the feat in 2007. He is also the third player in Sporting history to hit five goals in his first five regular season appearances for the club, joining Felipe Gutierrez from 2018 and Miklos Molnar in 2000.
Pulskamp enjoyed a tame first half, having to deal with zero shots on target from the Timbers. The 47th minute provided the 21-year-old with his first action after Yimmi Chara broke free of the backline. Pulskamp dashed off his line and dispossessed the attacker with a sliding, two-handed effort. Timbers talisman Sebastian Blanco latched onto the loose ball and chipped a shot that appeared destined for goal. Pulskamp somehow scurried to his feet, backtracked to his goal, leaped up and at full extension smacked the ball over the top corner of the goal.
The keeper went on to make four saves in the contest, denying Dairon Asprilla three times. Pulskamp is in his third season as a member of the Sporting KC first team. In six starts this season, he has made 21 saves, picked up three results and earned two wins in his last three starts.
Team of the Week (4-3-3): Thomas Hasal (VAN); John Tolkin (RBNY), Matt Miazga (CIN), Damion Lowe (MIA), Tommy Thompson (SJ); Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Ryan Gauld (VAN); William Agada (SKC), Julian Carranza (PHI), Romell Quioto (MTL)
Bench: John Pulskamp (SKC), Domenico Criscito (TOR), Cesar Araujo (ORL), Santiago Rodriguez (NYC), Kwadwo Opoku (LAFC), Cucho Hernandez (CLB), Raul Ruidiaz (SEA)
Coach: Adrian Heath (MIN)