Sitting three points out of a playoff berth, the Chicago Fire need all hands on deck coming down the stretch. Marco Pappa has certainly answered the call.
Facing a Real Salt Lake side that had won five of their last six games, Pappa erupted for a hat trick, including one goal that earned an AT&T Goal of the Week nomination. It was an impressive performance, and one that has earned the media's nod for MLS Player of the Week for Week 29 as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters.
It didn't take long for Pappa to put the Fire on the board at Rio Tinto Stadium, firing home the opener in the ninth minute. The Guatemalan took a pass from Patrick Nyarko at the top of the area before ripping a shot past a diving Nick Rimando.
It was not to be his last highlight-reel strike on the day. Pappa made a nice run to slot his second to the far post in the 36th, but his masterpiece came with 15 minutes to go when he won the ball in the midfield, blew by Chris Schuler on the wing and, alone on goal, curled the ball to the back post to complete the hat trick.
Pappa's Player of the Week award is the first by a Fire player this season.
CHECK OUT HOW MEDIA VOTED HERE.
Watch Highlights: Real Salt Lake 0, Chicago Fire 3
2011 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 29: Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire)
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)