Team of the Week

MLS Team of the Matchday presented by Audi | Vrioni, Ivačič provide heroics to seal Revs’ fifth win in six


It’s been a jam-packed week for the New England Revolution, one that still isn’t quite over yet. But, after starting the week with a heavy home defeat to defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew, the Revs bounced back in a big way midweek, with a brace from striker Giacomo Vrioni and a heroic performance from goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič in a 2-1 win over Atlanta United FC lifting New England up to 11th in the Eastern Conference and propelling the two onto the MLS Team of the Matchday for Matchday 24.

Recent weeks have seen the Revolution have to deal with a number of key absences, either to injury, suspension, or international duty. Vrioni and Ivačič have both been stalwarts in the lineup during that period, however, both making 10 straight starts and playing crucial roles in getting the Revs off the bottom of the Eastern Conference table and into the playoff conversation.

Vrioni went into last Saturday’s match against Columbus with three goals in two games, including a brace against FC Cincinnati the week prior, but was ultimately unable to convert any chances into a goal against the Black and Gold. The Albanian international did not allow that to bring him down, though, and got right back into goalscoring form against Atlanta, scoring a brace in the first half and nearly securing his first hat trick of the MLS season during the second half, only being prevented from doing so by a marginal offside call.

Those two goals brought Vrioni up to seven goals in MLS this year, a team-high tally. That total also marks his best MLS season to date, after injury plagued his first year with the club, and given that there is still almost half of the season still to come, it will be exciting to see how much further the striker can go.

Ivačič, meanwhile, recorded seven saves against the Five Stripes, matching his season-high tally from May’s loss to the Philadelphia Union. Two saves just before halftime stood out in particular, acrobatic parries that crucially kept the Revolution’s two-goal cushion intact going into the break.

Ivačič is featured in the Team of the Matchday for the second time this season, both since joining with the Revolution in April, while Vrioni makes the best XI for the first time this campaign after having narrowly missed out against Cincinnati, only making a spot on the bench for Matchday 22.

The Revolution’s hectic week wraps up tomorrow night in Seattle, with kickoff at Lumen Field set for 10:30 p.m. ET. The Western Conference matchup will provide the Revs with an opportunity to give themselves a bit of a boost in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt before returning to face more familiar opposition in the form of Orlando City SC at home the following weekend.

7_5_24 MLS Team of the Matchday