The playoff race is heating up and D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario is clearly rising to the occasion.
The 33-year-old Canadian international has carried his team with four goals in two matches, including the fastest hat trick in MLS history on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, to earn the media nod as the MLS Player of the Week for Week 28 as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters.
One of the leading candidates for the league MVP award, De Rosario is at the top of the Golden Boot race with 13 goals and is closing in on his career highs for goals (15 in 2010) and assists (13 in 2005).
After picking out Andy Najar with a piercing through ball that led to D.C.'s opening goal, De Rosario then proceeded to singlehandedly bury Real Salt Lake with his second hat trick of the season in just less than 10 minutes between the 22nd minute and 31st minute.
He opened his account on the night with a header off a pinpoint Najar cross and then found the top right corner with a curling drive before sending a searing 35-yard free kick into the opposite corner for a 4-0 halftime score line.
De Rosario also had a hand in every scoring opportunity in the midweek 2-2 draw against Chivas USA. He headed a Najar cross for the opening goal before his shot on goal led to D.C. United’s second. He also had a chance to win it late for D.C. but watched his 90th minute penalty kick saved by Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
He has now won the award eight times in his career, including a league-high three times this season – all with D.C. United.
CHECK OUT HOW MEDIA VOTED HERE.
Watch Highlights: D.C. United 4, Real Salt Lake 1
2011 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 28: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 27: Danny Koevermans (Toronto FC)
Week 25/26: Charlie Davies (D.C. United)
Week 24: Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders)
Week 23: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Week 22: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Week 21: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 20: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 19: Sanna Nyassi (Colorado Rapids)
Week 18: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)
Week 17: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)
Week 16: Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls)
Week 15: Mike Magee (LA Galaxy)
Week 14: Bernardo Anor (Columbus Crew)
Week 13: Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 12: Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake)
Week 11: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union)
Week 10: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders)
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)