LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 16 of the 2015 MLS season. Zardes earns his first-ever Player of the Week award after helping lead the Galaxy to a 5-1 rout of the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night. The Homegrown Player notched a goal and two assists in LA’s highest scoring match since its 5-0 thumping of Real Salt Lake in the second leg of last year’s Western Conference semifinals.
After the Galaxy took the lead in the 23rd minute behind Baggio Husidic’s tally, Zardes helped set up the club’s second goal 12 minutes later. Husidic picked up the ball at the midfield and found Zardes on the left flank. The Hawthorne, CA native then played a low cross to the top of the box that found Juninho, who finished with his left foot to beat Philadelphia goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre and put the home side up 2-0. The young U.S. international stretched the Galaxy’s lead to 3-0 in the 56th minute through some great combination play with fellow forward Robbie Keane. Zardes played a through ball for Keane on the left side and continued his run into the area for the return pass. The 23-year-old then clinically volleyed the bouncing cross into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. Zardes capped off his performance with a second assist on the Galaxy’s final goal of the game in the 65th minute. LA struck on the counter with Husidic making a 50-yard run and finding Zardes to the right just outside the area. Zardes then played a square ball for newcomer Sebastian Lletget, who smoothly finished from the top of the box. The LA Galaxy return to MLS action this Wednesday, when they host the Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center at 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, TSN2). The reigning MLS Cup champions then head to Stanford Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes in the first installment of the California Clásico as part of MLS Heineken Rivalry Week on Saturday, June 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET (MLS LIVE). 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/.