After making some MLS history by scoring the fastest-ever hat trick to start a league match, Nashville SC attacker Hany Mukhtar has been named Player of the Week for Week 13 of the MLS season.
The 26-year-old Designated Player started the historic barrage just 10 minutes into the contest with his first goal of the match, and racked up two more goals in the next six minutes, sparking Nashville to a 5-1 blowout of Chicago Fire FC at Nissan Stadium.
Mukhtar got the party started early, collecting a feed from CJ Sapong after a giveaway from Chicago at the back and depositing a laser finish into the bottom left corner.
Nashville SC's 1st Hany Mukhtar goal vs. Chicago | Enhanced Highlight
He then added his second virtually immediately, cashing home the lead-doubling strike just three minutes later after freeing up the space with some stepovers in the box.
Nashville SC's 2nd Hany Mukhtar goal vs. Chicago | Enhanced Highlight
After Chicago went down to 10 men the very next minute when center back Johan Kappelhof was sent off for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, Mukhtar capped off the barrage with a highlight-reel bending free kick that he drilled past Bobby Shuttleworth to give Nashville the early 3-0 lead that sent them on their way to the blowout result. The set-piece finish was the record-breaking one for Mukhtar, giving him the new benchmark for fastest hat trick to start a match by an MLS player.
Mukhtar continued to give the Fire defense fits throughout the match, nearly adding at least two more to his tally in the second half, and having a fourth strike negated for offside. The midfielder is now up to seven goals and two assists in 12 games this season.
Nashville SC's 3rd Hany Mukhtar goal vs. Chicago | Enhanced Highlight
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.