This didn't seem to be a week for particularly showy individual performances. So, I gave my first vote to RSL's Jean Alexandre, who figured in both goals of his team's 2-0 win over Vancouver. And he ended up being the league-wide winner as well. (My second vote went to Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman, but my heart wasn't really in it. It was more of a career-achievement award as he got his 100th shutout in the Hoops' 1-0 win over New England ... but made only two saves in doing it.)
Here's the release from the league.
Real Salt Lake attacker Jean Alexandre was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) after he notched a goal and an assist in RSL’s 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The goal was the first in the Haitian international’s MLS career.
With RSL’s forward corps depleted by injury and Gold Cup call-ups, Alexandre moved from his usual midfield role to forward and justified the coach’s decision. In the 32nd minute, Kyle Beckerman sent a pass through the Vancouver defense to Alexandre at the top of the box. As he received the ball, Alexandre held off one defender, then used a nifty step-over to brush by a second defender before slipping the ball past the charging goalkeeper for his first MLS goal in 26 career appearances.
Late in the second half, Alexandre’s quick feet helped set up the insurance goal. After a giveaway by Vancouver in the midfield, Alexandre evaded a sliding challenge and poked a through pass to Fabian Espindola. In alone against goalkeeper Joe Cannon, Espindola coolly finished to the far post.
Alexandre is the second player from RSL to win Player of the Week in 2011 (Javier Morales won in week 2) and it marks the first time this season that a team has had a second player receive the honor.
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.
2011 MLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 12: Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake)
Week 11: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union)
Week 10: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders FC)
Week 9: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Week 8: Joao Plata (Toronto FC)
Week 7: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Week 6: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Week 4: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Week 3: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Week 2: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 1: Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City)