Player of the Matchday

Columbus Crew SC winger Justin Meram named Alcatel MLS Player of the Week

Hat tricks don’t get much better than the one Columbus Crew SC midfielder Justin Meram notched in Saturday’s 3-2 road win over the Montreal Impact.

And on Tuesday, the Iraqi international was honored for the feat by earning Alcatel MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 11, as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).

Meram’s hat trick was the first of his career — and the 11th in Crew SC history — and was capped with a dramatic game-winner in the 91st minute. Meram is just the third player in MLS history to complete a hat trick with a game-winning goal in stoppage time.

Meram opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he recovered his own deflected pass and fired a right-footed shot into the net, before putting Crew SC up 2-0 in the 28th minute when he showed a deft touch in the box to avoid charging Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush and set up an easy right-footed flick.

The 28-year-old is now tied for third in the Golden Boot standings with seven goals — one shy of his career-high — and is quickly generating hype as an MVP candidate and the league’s best winger.

Crew SC, who are tied for second in the Eastern Conference with 19 points, return to action Sunday vs. the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium (2:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.