A few more performances like this past weekend and the calls will begin for Chivas USA forward Justin Braun to get his first US National Team cap.
Braun’s two goals on Saturday night against the Kansas City Wizards helped Chivas USA earn their first league victory since May 5 and allowed Braun to secure his first career MLS Player of the Week award for Week 15, as voted on Monday by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
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It was the first Player of the Week honor for a Chivas USA player in more than two years. Ante Razov got the nod in Week 25 of the 2007 season.
The weekend brace by the 23-year-old gave him a career-high six goals on the campaign as he made the most of defensive errors by the Wizards in the second half at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Braun got his first goal in the 56th minute after finishing off a poor clearance by the Wizards defense. As the ball bounced toward the Kansas City penalty area, Braun took one touch before powering an unstoppable drive past ‘keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
He then sealed his team’s third win of the season with three minutes remaining as he pounced on an errant pass by Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad. Braun poked the ball past Shavar Thomas and curled his second strike around the goalkeeper.
The brace follows his two goals in last week's 3-1 US Open Cup defeat of the Houston Dynamo, which thrust Chivas into the tournament's semifinals for the first time in club hostory.
The Salt Lake City native was called up by Bob Bradley to national team camp in January, but he was not part of the 18-man roster to play Honduras. He is expected to figure in upcoming call-ups as the US identify their forward corps for the upcoming World Cup cycle.
2010 MLS Player of the Week Winners
Week 1: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 2: Kenny Mansally (New England Revolution)
Week 3: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Week 4: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)
Week 6: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 7: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 8: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Week 9: Emilio Renteria (Columbus Crew)
Week 10: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)
Week 11: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Week 12: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Week 13: Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 14: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Week 15: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)