No surprise today as Chivas USA's Justin Braun's hat trick against the New York Red Bulls earned him MLS player of the week honors. Braun got my first place vote, while LA's Landon Donovan got my other.
Here's the information from the league:
Chivas USA forward Justin Braun was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 9 of the 2011 MLS season. In Chivas USA’s 3-2 win at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, Braun became the second player in MLS this season to score a hat trick (Houston’s Will Bruin had one in Week 7).
Braun put Chivas ahead in the sixth minute with a beautiful strike. Nick LaBrocca played the ball to Braun out wide on the left side. Braun dribbled between Dane Richards and Jan Gunnar Solli before placing a curling, dipping shot over New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and into the back of the net.
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In the 31st minute, Heath Pearce chipped a free kick toward the back post. As the Red Bulls’ defense watched the ball sail over their heads, Ante Jazic lunged to knock it down just before it reached the end line. Braun knifed through the crowd and tucked the ball through Coundoul’s legs to give Chivas a 2-1 lead.
Early in the second half, Braun put Chivas USA up for good. Several Red Bulls defenders watched Simon Elliott’s free kick curl toward the back post where an unmarked Alejandro Moreno met it with a strong header. Coundoul nudged the ball off the inside of the post, and it rolled along the goal line until Braun tapped it in.
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 can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.