A-League Men Team of the Week: Round 1

Veterans and youngsters alike impressed in Round 1 of the A-League Men season. (Photos: Western Sydney Wanders/Twitter; A-League Men/Twitter; KEEPUP/Twitter)

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 1 of the A-League Men season.

The 2021/22 A-League Men season got off to a fairly slow start this weekend, with only 12 goals in six games being scored across the country.

The Sydney derby finished in a goalless draw while the F3 stole the show with Central Coast prevailing in the end.

Goalkeeper and defenders

GK: Tomas Mejias (Western Sydney Wanderers)

The Real Madrid youth product made a dream debut in the Round 1 Sydney derby draw. Mejias denied both Trent Buhagiar and Adam Le Fondre and did some very good work with his feet, making a total of 22 passes.

RWB: Antonee Burke-Gilroy (Perth Glory)

The 24-year-old who joined Perth from Brisbane in the summer had arguably his best A-League Men’s game to date. He started slowly but grew into the match, and was a real menace for Adelaide down the right. He even scored a goal that was disallowed for a tight offside.

LWB: Jacob Farrell (Central Coast Mariners)

Jacob Farrell is another debutant on the list. After impressing in the FFA Cup last weekend, the youngster was given a chance in the opening A-Leauge game and he delivered. He scored his first A-League goal with a very good header, and was excellent in the defensive phase as well.

CB: Leo Lacroix (Western United)

Despite being on the losing end in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’, Leo Lacroix was absolutely excellent. Not only did he impress defensively on his A-League Men debut, but he also showed excellent ball control and dribbling. The 29-year old finished the game with a 92 per cent pass success rate and 2/3 dribbles completed (according to FOTMOB).

CB: Rhys Williams (Western Sydney Wanderers)

The new Wanderers captain was arguably the best player on the pitch at Commbank Stadium on Saturday. The ex-Socceroo impressed with his passing (96 per cent), tackling (2/3), and leadership. His challenge to win the ball off Adam Le Fondre was very impressive in particular.

CB: Roderick Miranda (Melbourne Victory)

Miranda showed just why he was once a part of Wolverhampton’s Premier League charge. The Portuguese defender was absolutely everywhere for Victory, winning three duels, and making seven clearances, before scoring the winner in the 75th minute with a header at the near post.

Midfielders

DM: Rai Marchan (Melbourne Victory)

Marchan is the second foreign Victory player to make the Team of the Week after making his debut in the derby. The Spaniard was excellent in the base of midfield, making the most tackles and winning the most duels in the match (according to FOTMOB) while keeping Alessandro Diamanti quiet for the majority of the game.

CM: Anthony Caceres (Sydney FC)

Caceres has turned into Mr. Reliable for Sydney in recent years. The ex-City midfielder was weighted with the creative burden in the absence of Luke Brattan, and he delivered. Caceres had an all-round performance in which he was both the provider and the man to relieve the pressure off the defence time and time again.

CM: Connor Metcalfe (Melbourne City)

New year, same old Connor Metcalfe. The young Socceroo was excellent in both phases of the game and scored a good goal after turning a defender inside out.

Forwards

ST: Bruno Fornaroli (Perth Glory)

Perth had a tough game against Adelaide, and it could’ve been a lot tougher if it wasn’t for the Uruguayan. As always, the veteran held up the ball well and won a couple of fouls, but his real contribution was a 25-yard screamer that won the point for the Glory.

ST: Luke Ivanovic (Brisbane Roar)

Despite playing only 32 minutes, Luke Ivanovic was one of (if not) the best players in an orange kit. The tall striker provided speed and drive after coming on and scored Brisbane’s only goal with his first shot on target.

A-League Men Team of the Week: Round 1

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