MIAMI, Florida – The first legs of the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals are in the books and there were many top performances from players of all positions.
Here is the Team Of The Week from this week’s matches in the SCCL.
GK Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
The 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup Golden Glove winner with Jamaica has taken to the SCCL like a fish to water. Blake registered his third straight clean sheet in the SCCL with a seven-save effort in the Union’s 3-0 win at Atlanta United. Five of those stops came in a first half in which Blake produced a number of top saves.
DF Pablo Aguilar, Cruz Azul
Aguilar was a headache for Toronto FC in Cruz Azul’s 3-1 first leg win, with a goal and an assist to earn La Maquina the advantage heading into next week’s second leg. Aguilar also had a steal and completed 97 percent of his passes.
DF Milton Valenzuela, Columbus Crew SC
Valenzuela was one of the most dynamic performers on the night for Columbus in their 2-2 draw with Monterrey. The Argentine nearly scored in the first half with a strong effort before finding the back of the net in the second half for Crew SC’s first goal of the night.
DF Sebastian Caceres, Club America
Club America held Portland in check until second half stoppage time in their 1-1 draw on Wednesday night thanks in part to Caceres. The center back seemingly won every aerial duel and did well to anticipate the Timbers attack in the Club America area.
DF Jack Elliott, Philadelphia Union
Like his teammate Blake, Elliott played a big role in keeping Atlanta United’s high-flying offense in check. Elliott had three steals and was very precise in his passing with a 96 percent completion rate.
MF Jamiro Monteiro, Philadelphia Union
Monteiro has emerged as one of the best players of the 2021 SCCL. After earning TOTW honors in the Round of 16, he is back after his five-steal performance for Philadelphia against Atlanta United. Much of the Union’s devastating counterattack can be attributed to Monteiro’s playmaking.
MF Yimmi Chara, Portland Timbers
Named to the Round of 16 TOTW as well, Chara is back among the best XI after his tireless performance for Portland against Club America. The Colombian constantly harassed defenders in trying to win back possession for his side, while completing 82 percent of his passes, engaging in 12 duels and making three steals.
MF Lucas Zelarayan, Columbus Crew SC
Playing against old rivals Monterrey, former Tigres UANL man Lucas Zelarayan delivered another top performance for Columbus in the 2-2 draw with Rayados. The Argentine MF was at the center of almost every Columbus scoring chance and ended the night with a goal and an assist.
FW Bryan Angulo, Cruz Azul
Angulo has not even crested the 100-minute mark in the 2021 SCCL, but already has three goals to his name after his brace in Cruz Azul’s 3-1 win over Toronto FC. Angulo also had a steal and completed 86 percent of his passes on the night.
FW Kacper Przybylko, Philadelphia Union
Przybylko is the leading scorer in the 2021 SCCL at present with four goals, two of those coming in the Union’s 3-0 win at Atlanta United. Scoring twice on just three shots is about as efficient as it gets for a striker and Przybylko’s finishing touch has Philadelphia poised for a semifinal spot.
FW Ake Loba, Monterrey
Loba scored a crucial away goal for Monterrey in their 2-2 draw at Columbus, finding the back of the net inside the first 10 minutes. Loba then put in an excellent 79-minute shift in which he had a steal and completed 89 percent of his passes.