Chicago Fire midfielder Shaun Maloney was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the fifth week of the 2015 MLS season.
After missing the Fire’s 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union due to international duty with Scotland, Maloney returned last week to record his first MLS goal and assist in Chicago’s thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Toronto FC on Saturday.
Two of the Fire’s offseason acquisitions combined for a bit of magic early on to take the lead over Toronto in the 14th minute. Chicago’s Joevin Jones won a challenge near the touchline and slid the ball to Maloney who then played a clever backheel pass back to Jones who beat Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik with a left-footed strike.
After going down 2-1 in the 54th minute, the Scottish Designated Player responded immediately, leveling the match two minutes later. Chicago Homegrown Player Harry Shipp started the play, finding Maloney on the left side of the area. The Scotsman showed some skill with a couple of stepovers before cutting inside and sending a shot through traffic that snuck past Bendik.
The Men in Red sealed all three points in the 68th minute, when Jeff Larentowicz’s curling free kick found the back of the net to make it 3-2.
The Chicago Fire are on a bye week and will return to action on April 18 against the Montreal Impact at 3:00 p.m. ET at Stade Saputo (TSN, 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/.