SAN JOSE, Calif.– San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Cristian Espinoza has been selected to Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week for Week 23 following the Earthquakes’ 2-2 draw against Real Salt Lake last Saturday. Espinoza tallied one goal and one assist on Saturday and is now one of three players in MLS with 6+ goals and 8+ assists this season (Luciano Acosta – CIN, Carlos Vela – LAFC).
The Team of the Week honor is Espinoza’s second of the season and seventh of his MLS career. The Earthquakes have now had a total of 14 different TOTW recognitions so far in 2022.
MLS TEAM OF THE WEEK FOR WEEK 23
Forwards: Mikael Uhre (PHI), Gonzalo Higuain (MIA), Luis Amarilla (MIN)
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (PHI), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Sebastian Driussi (ATX), Sebastian Blanco (POR)
Defenders: Kamal Miller (MTL), Giorgio Chiellini (LAFC), Jakob Glesnes (PHI)
Goalkeeper: Djordje Petrovic (NE)
Coach: Wayne Rooney (D.C.)
Bench: Maarten Paes (DAL), Juan Jose Purata (ATL), Cristian Espinoza (SJ), Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Taxi Fountas (D.C.) Carlos Vela (LAFC), Brandon Vazquez (CIN)
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ESPINOZA (7/30)
On what the team must do to avoid these outcomes again:
“Clearly, we need to be a little bit more intelligent when we are winning and play with that nervousness from the other team especially when playing at home which is what all teams do in the league when they have a lead. We need to defend that lead on all plays no matter how little they may seem. It is always important to maintain that lead no matter what. We need to learn from that, and it needs to happen quick because there are less and less games as the season goes on. Even though things may not be going well, our mentality stays the same: to try to reach the playoffs. And as long as there is a chance to qualify, our objective stays the same.”
On if he’s fatiguing from heavy minutes:
“I actually feel really good. I like to be part of the starting 11. Physically and mentally, I am okay, ready to go for the rest of the season. But if the coach thinks I should start on the bench, it is a coach’s decision and we have to take in those decisions. For me, I’ll tell you that I want to play every single game and every single minute.”