Sounders Insider

Defender gets MLS award for last week of season

I'm a bit late with this, but Chicago's Jalil Anibaba was voted MLS player of the week. He got my first-place vote, with my second going to Simon Dawkins, who had two goals for San Jose.

Here's the news release:

Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 32, after scoring the first two goals oh his MLS career in his team’s 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew.

The rookie defender opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a header from close range. Anibaba remained upfield after a Chicago free kick was partially cleared, and Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo crossed for Anibaba, who headed past Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer. Anibaba scored his second goal in the 30th minute, when he made another run forward and nodded a cross over Hesmer, and inside the far post.

The University of North Carolina product played in 29 games and made 27 starts for the Fire is his first MLS season, logging the fifth-most minutes on the team. He becomes the second defender to win Player of the Week honors this season, after Seattle’s Jeff Parke won in Week 10.

Anibaba joins midfielder Marco Pappa as the only Chicago Fire players to be selected as Player of the Week this season. Other players that received multiple votes this week include Houston Dynamo defender Adam Moffat, Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins.

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