REAL SALT LAKE MF JAVIER MORALES NAMED MLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR WEEK 20
Pair of Goals in Dominating Performance v. Crew Earns All-Star His Second Weekly Honor of 2010 Season
SANDY, Utah / NEW YORK (Monday, August 16, 2010) – Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales was today voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 20 of the 2010 MLS season. Morales led Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 victory, scoring both goals and controlling play throughout his 63-minute performance against the Columbus Crew last Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. Morales also put in an energetic 90-minute effort in a midweek match last Wednesday at Philadelphia Union, helping RSL gain a road point from a 1-1 draw in its first-ever contest at PPL Park.
Morales gave Real Salt Lake an early lead on Saturday night, as he finished on a beautiful shot in the 11th minute. After working a short corner with fellow Argentine Fabian Espíndola, Morales drifted towards the upper left corner of the 18-yard box, received the ball from Espindola and blasted a shot toward the far post. The ball ricocheted off the right post and into the net past the outstretched arms of Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer for the first goal of the game.
After pushing the play and pulling the strings of RSL’s high-flying attack in search for a second goal, Morales struck again in the 60th minute off another dead ball chance. The midfielder stepped up to take a free kick opportunity on the edge of the arc and sent his shot through the Crew wall and past Hesmer to record the final goal in the 2-0 victory for the defending champs. The win stretched Real Salt Lake’s home unbeaten streak in MLS play to 21 games (14-0-7), the current run now just one behind Columbus’ League record of 22 set across the 2008-09 seasons.
This is Morales’ third career Player of the Week award and second of this season. The 2010 MLS All-Star First XI choice earned the honor during the first week of this season, courtesy of another scintillating two-goal effort in a 3-0 win at San Jose, and also in Week 6 (April 22-26) of last season.
This marks the 16th Player of the Week honor awarded to a Real Salt Lake player in the club’s six seasons of play, and the fourth distinction of 2010, Morales’ two honors joining FW Álvaro Saborío’s pair of weekly plaudits in Weeks 8 and 14. Jeff Cunningham has earned the honor a franchise-high five times, while Morales’ Week 20 honor gives him three. Saborío and Robbie Findley have collected two awards each, while Pablo Campos, Fabian Espíndola, Chris Klein, and Yura Movsisyan have each collected the award once.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com.
2010 MLS Player of the Week Winners
Week 1: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 2: Kenny Mansally (New England Revolution)
Week 3: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Week 4: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)
Week 6: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 7: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 8: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
Week 9: Emilio Renteria (Columbus Crew)
Week 10: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)
Week 11: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Week 12: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Week 13: Juan Pablo Ángel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 14: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
Week 15: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Week 16: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Week 17: Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders)
Week 18: Juan Pablo Ángel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 19: Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas)
Week 20: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)