D.C. United's Patrick Mullins' hat trick in United's 6-2 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday made him the overwhelming choice among voting members of the North American Soccer Reporters as the Player of the Week for Week 25, MLS announced Tuesday.
Mullins — who was acquired by D.C. on July 20 in a trade from New York City FC — now has five goals in seven games (five starts) for United, whose victory kept them above the red line and in the sixth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Against Chicago, his first goal, against a Fire side that was down to 10 men after Khaly Thiam was issued a red card in the 34th minute, broke a 1-1 tie in the 40th minute. His second, in first-half stoppage time, put D.C. up 3-1 and secured United's grip on the game.
After the Fire fought their way back to within 3-2, Patrick Nyarko made it 4-2 and Mullins completed his hat trick in the 74th minute to make it 5-2 and end any suspense.
Mullins, a two-time winner of the Hermann Trophy at the University of Maryland, was the No. 11 pick overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution and scored four goals for the Revs that season. He was selected by NYCFC with the fourth overall pick in the expansion draft in 2015 and scored six goals for the first-year club that season. But with David Villa ahead of him, and the rise of young attackers Jack Harrison and Tommy McNamara, Mullins struggled to get consistent playing time in 2016. He had no goals in seven games (two starts) and the club dealt him to D.C. for general allocation money and an international roster spot.
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.