I cast my top vote for Morales, but I thought this was a week of exceptionally good performances -- including the goalkeeping by Houston's Tally Hall on Friday at Qwest Field. That said, my second vote went to a fellow Ruiz -- Carlos -- who did more than score in Philly's win over the Whitecaps.
Here's the MLS news release:
Real Salt Lake forward Javier Morales was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 2 of the 2011 MLS season. Morales scored twice and was instrumental in setting up a third goal in RSL’s 4-1 demolition of the LA Galaxy.
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Real Salt Lake swarmed the 2010 Supporters’ Shield winners from the opening kickoff and Morales sliced the defense with a pass to Brazilian winger Paulo Jr., who fed Andy Williams for a 1-0 lead in the second minute. With Morales as the catalyst, the home team’s offense continued to click and soon Paulo Jr. was taken down in the box by goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Morales calmly converted the penalty to put RSL up 2-0 after just 10 minutes of play.
Morales added to the lead in the 41st minute when he received a quick throw-in from Chris Wingert and fired the bouncing ball from the corner of the 18-yard-box over the head of Saunders for a commanding 3-0 lead before halftime.
Real Salt Lake’s next match is April 5, when they travel to San Jose, Costa Rica for the decisive second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Saprissa. RSL, the first MLS club to advance this far in the expanded tournament format, holds a 2-0 advantage from the first leg.
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 www.soccerreporters.com.