Moreno named Honda Player of the Week
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Alejandro Moreno was named Honda MLS Player of the Week by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA) for the week ending May 23, 2004 (Week 8).
The 24-year-old scored three goals in an eight-minute span of the first half in a 4-2 Galaxy midweek win at D.C. United on May 19, the second fastest hat trick in League history. In addition, scoring three goals on three shots for Moreno made it a total of five goals on five consecutive shots (including his first two goals this season), the first player in MLS history to achieve that feat.
The Venezuelan striker is the third Galaxy forward to win the award in 2004, joining Carlos Ruiz and Jovan Kirovski.
"It's a great honor to be named the MLS Player of the Week," Moreno said. "I am glad things are coming together for me individually and for us as a team. However, I am happier that we have been getting results on the road so far. Hopefully, we will be able to continue do so throughout the season."
Moreno, who was making his first start of the year due to injuries to forwards Carlos Ruiz and Jovan Kirovski, answered any questions about how the Galaxy offense would handle those absences in the game's 35th minute. After United goalkeeper Nick Rimando failed to clear an Andreas Herzog corner kick, Moreno snuck the ball over the line as defender Dema Kovalenko attempted in vain to keep it out of the goal.
"Alejandro's seven-point performance against D.C. United last Wednesday was truly something special," said Los Angeles Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton." It was a scoring display that no one in MLS will soon forget. He is certainly a worthy recipient of the (Player of the Week) honor."
Just four minutes later Moreno struck for the second time. Herzog found the Venezuelan international with a long ball up the left flank behind defender Mike Petke, and Moreno raced into the penalty area before hitting a low shot from the corner of the goal area that slid under Rimando.
"I thought Alejandro was outstanding," said Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid." It is often difficult to stay motivated when you are playing a reserve role, but he has tremendous character and is a skillful soccer player who demonstrated all sorts of goal-scoring ability last week."
In the 43rd minute, the Herzog-Moreno combination struck again on a spectacular goal. Herzog's measured cross from the left flank found Moreno cutting across the face of goal, and he flicked the ball with the outside of his right foot and past Rimando into the far side netting.
"Any time you score three goals it's great," Moreno said after the game. "The most important thing is we were playing without five guys that we consider starters and we've shown some depth and some determination in coming here and getting a result."
Moreno becomes the third Los Angeles forward to win the award, joining Ruiz (Week 4) and Kirovski (Week 6). He was selected ahead of Colorado Rapids forward Jean Philippe Peguero and teammate Andreas Herzog for this week's award. The Honda Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected every week throughout the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
2004 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS:
Week 1: Jaime Moreno (D.C. United)
Week 2: Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 3: Fabian Taylor (MetroStars)
Week 4: Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 5: Henry Ring (Chicago Fire)
Week 6: Jovan Kirovski (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 7: Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 8: Alejandro Moreno (Los Angeles Galaxy)