New York Red Bulls forward Luke Rodgers was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 5 of the 2011 MLS season. Rodgers made the most of his starting role by tallying two goals and registering an assist in the Red Bulls 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Rodgers gave the Red Bulls a lead in just the second minute of play. Rafa Marquez swung in a corner kick which Dane Richards flicked to the back post. With a quick reaction, Rodgers headed it into the back of the net.
In the 15th minute, Henry stole the ball from defender Ramiro Corrales near the right corner of the box. He took a touch and sent a diagonal pass across the face of the goal just out of goalkeeper Jon Busch’s reach. Rodgers’ well-timed run put him in perfect position to double the Red Bulls’ score.
In the second half, Rodgers went from goal scorer to facilitator. His passes put Henry in multiple scoring positions but the striker just couldn’t convert until the 87th minute. Rodgers paused with the ball just outside the right corner of the area and then chipped a cross to the far post, where Henry placed a diving header into the far side netting.
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/.
My votes this week went to Jorge Perlaza of Portland and Rogers' teammate Thierry Henry of New York.