CHICAGO - Chicago Fire midfielder Justin Mapp today earned his second honor of the week from Major League Soccer, as the 20-year-old midfielder's game-winning tally from last Sunday's 2-1 win at the Los Angeles Galaxy was named the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week for Week 23. The goal was named the runaway winner after three days of online voting on the League's official website, www.mlsnet.com, where the tally can be seen by clicking on the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week link. Today's award comes on the heels of Mapp being named the Honda MLS Player of the Week on Tuesday by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
The award-winning goal proved that the up-and-coming Mapp is more than just a typical flank player, as the Mississippi native cut through the heart of the Galaxy defense in the 92+ minute to set-up a clinical finish. After receiving the ball 35 yards out, Mapp began an ambitious run towards goal that would see him squeak through four Galaxy defenders and into the top of the penalty area. With a quick move, Mapp found enough space to rip a left-footed strike far post just past the diving hands of Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, resulting in a late 2-1 lead and an important win that moved the Chicago side back into a share of second place in the tight Eastern Conference standings. The goal was Mapp's third on the season to go along with his career-best eight assists, the last of which came on forward Chris Rolfe's 11th minute tally that started the scoring in Sunday's win over the Galaxy.
Mapp's winning strike easily beat out the other four candidates in this week's field, earning 41% of the vote to defeat goals from D.C. United forward Freddy Adu (24%), San Jose Earthquakes striker Ronald Cerritos (18%), New England Revolution forward Khano Smith (14%) and Colorado Rapids midfielder Terry Cooke (4%). Mapp becomes the first member of the "Men in Red" this season to win the Goal of the Week award and the first Fire player to garner the award in nearly a year. Forward Andy Herron was the last Chicago player to capture the honor, winning the award for his 59th minute strike at the Columbus Crew last Oct. 2 that helped the Fire capture a 3-3 road draw in Week 27.
Mapp's #21 One of Seven Fire Players' Jerseys Available in Hurricane Relief Online Auction
Mapp's game-worn #21 jersey from his stellar weekend performance has proven to be one of the most sought after items of the Hurricane Relief Online Auction, a joint effort by Major League Soccer, the MLS Players Union, U.S. Soccer, Federación Mexicana de Fútbol and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. To bid on the jerseys of Mapp and nearly 100 other MLS and U.S. and Mexican National Team stars, please click here. Other Fire players who donated their jerseys to the worthwhile cause include Ivan Guerrero, Jesse Marsch, Chris Rolfe, Tony Sanneh, Zach Thornton and captain Chris Armas, whose U.S. National Team jersey from their 2-0 win over Mexico last Saturday is also on the auction block. The bidding will end at 11:00 a.m. CT next Monday, Sept. 12. 100% of the proceeds from the Hurricane Relief Online Auction will go directly towards the relief efforts taking place in the Gulf Coast region.