CHESTER, Pa. – No one in MLS is hotter than Roland Alberg right now.


After struggling to find a place in the Philadelphia Union’s regular rotation during his first three months in MLS, the midfielder has scored a whopping seven goals over the last four games (including in the US Open Cup) and was named MLS Player of the Week on Tuesday.


Where did he come from? What does he like about his new team and city? What are his future aspirations? We sat down with the red-hot Dutchman after Tuesday’s training session to find out more.


His first visit to the US wasn’t until this past winter


Although he likes traveling to different countries with his girlfriend, Alberg hadn’t been to the United States before December. On that trip, he first saw the sights of New York City before then heading to Philly for a sit-down with the Union brass, which were making a pitch to sign him.


And from the club’s stadium to the new practice facility to the city to the league, Alberg was immediately sold, signing a two-year deal (with two option years) with the Union in early February.


“The first impression was excellent,” he said. “They made me feel welcome.”


He knows Earnie Stewart from his youth days


Alberg’s main connection to the Union came from the nine years he spent playing with AZ Alkmaar’s youth academy while growing up in the Netherlands -- the same club that the Union sporting director ran before coming to Philadelphia.


During his stint with Alkmaar, Stewart showed a great eye for talent and wanted to make the 25-year-old Alberg part of his plans as he built his first MLS roster this past offseason.


“He called me and said, ‘We are interested in you. We like the kind of player you are,’” said Alberg, who had spent the previous three seasons with ADO Den Haag in his native country. “That was important to me.”


He played professionally in Turkey – very briefly


After beginning his pro career with SBV Excelsior in the Netherlands, Alberg signed a long-term deal with Turkish club Elazığspor in 2013. But things quickly went sour, with Alberg admitting to having “some troubles with the coach” that led to an exit eight months into his tenure there.


Returning to the Netherlands proved to be a great thing for Alberg, as he had 16 goals and 13 assists over 71 games for Den Haag. Still, while he loved playing in his native country, he wasn’t spooked by his disappointing stint in Turkey and decided he wanted to give another country a shot.


“In the end, I wanted a new experience, a new country, different people,” he said. “That’s why I chose the Philly Union. The total package right here was perfect for me.”


He comes from a soccer family


Alberg has four siblings, including half-brother Ibad Muhamadu, who enjoyed a long professional career in soccer that included a stint with the Portland Timbers in 2010 (before they joined MLS).


Muhamadu is now Alberg’s agent.


“He’s always supported me,” he said. “My mother sometimes went a little bit crazy. The TV the whole time was soccer, soccer, soccer.”


He’s a huge Cristiano Ronaldo fan


Don’t even try to tell Alberg that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.


“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player I’ve ever seen,” he said. “He’s got everything – he’s strong, he scores a lot of goals. He’s a machine. I will say every day he’s better than Messi.”


Ronaldo has been Alberg’s favorite player for a long time – so much so that he said the only team he’s been rooting for at the Euros is Portugal even though he is friends with Iceland hero Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (who scored the winning goal vs. England) from his youth days at Alkmaar.


Alberg has also been a Real Madrid fan for even longer than that, and his eyes definitely lit up when told that the Union played Real Madrid in front of nearly 60,000 people in Philadelphia back in 2011.


He’s loving the Philly restaurant scene


Asked about his favorite thing about Philadelphia, Alberg didn’t hesitate.


“What I like the most, I think, is the food,” he said. “Can I say that?”


Since arriving in Philly, Alberg said he hasn’t been to the same restaurant twice as he’s tried to scout out the best spots.


Actually, there is one (less authentic to Philly) eatery that he’s maybe indulged on more than once.


“After the game, sometimes I go to Shake Shack,” he said. “It’s the best burger I’ve ever had.”


He’s going to be a father in December


Alberg and his girlfriend might want to get out of the house as much as they can now. They’re expecting their first child in December.


That’s definitely something he’s excited for and the timing of it happening in the MLS offseason is perfect, as well. Still, he knows there’s a lot to prepare for, so he’s sought out some advice from Union goalkeeper Matt Jones, who welcomed his first child last month.


“Sometimes we go to dinner with him and his wife, and they give us some tips,” he said.


His hobbies include tennis and clothes shopping.


Alberg didn’t play many other sports besides soccer growing up but he does consider himself a pretty good tennis player.


“I’m not Roger Federer,” he said, “but I can play.”


Just don’t ask him to play golf. He thinks there still may be a video floating around of him missing the ball completely from the tee 10 straight times – “or maybe I deleted it,” he laughed.


He’d rather spend his spare time shopping for clothes – one of his favorite off-field activities – to make sure he’s always looking sharp.


He definitely prefers the No. 10 position


Alberg also looks sharp on the field as a player that, according to him, is best at “receiving the ball in the midfield, looking forward to the goal and creating a chance for me or my teammates.”


He played as a left winger when he was younger, but since the age of 12, he’s been mostly deployed as the attacking midfielder, which he calls his favorite position.


Earlier in the season, it was tougher for Alberg to get playing time with Tranquillo Barnetta occupying that spot. But after the sudden departure of Vincent Nogueira, Union head coach Jim Curtin has dropped Barnetta back into Nogueira’s No. 8 role and started Alberg at the No. 10 – which has led to an offensive explosion for the club but also far more goals allowed than Curtin would like.


This is the best scoring surge of his career


While it took a little while for him to adjust to MLS – the travel, in particular, was tough for him to get used to – he’s now enjoying the best run of his career.


“This is new for me,” he said. “Two goals in a game, three goals in a game – I’ve never had that in my life.”


That kind of streak likely won’t continue. But Alberg does hope more good things lie ahead of him in Philly.


“You never know the future,” he said. “But my goal is to stay here. I’ve always wanted to play in MLS. It’s been a good thing.”