nkufo_dl

NEW YORK — It was a long time coming for Seattle Sounders forward Blaise Nkufo.


In his sixth league match since joining the Sounders following the 2010 World Cup, the 35-year-old Nkufo finally got his first MLS goals – three of them in fact – in a 4-0 win at Columbus to capture the MLS Player of the Week award for Week 25 as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).


“I’m a striker, that’s my job scoring goals,” Nkufo said. “That’s what I’ve done for the last 10 years and I’m here for that.”


POLL: Who was the most clutch player in Wk. 25?

Seattle’s Designated Player got off the schneid after four minutes of Saturday’s match at Columbus Crew Stadium, pouncing on a rebound from a Fredy Montero header.


On his second strike, Nkufo beat Crew midfielder Kevin Burns in the 39th minute on a penetrating move into the penalty area.


Nkufo registered his hat trick with 15 minutes remaining on a play that he started, leading left winger Steve Zakuani and converting the subsequent cross in the box.


WATCH: Full match highlights

“For him, getting the three goals was very important for his confidence and his self-value,” Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said.


Nkufo had missed the previous two league matches with a right knee contusion before coming back with a bang.


“Personally, I’m satisfied with my performance,” Nkufo said after Saturday’s game. “As a striker, to score goals you have to have your teammates provide you good assists. Tonight I thank Steve [Zakuani].”


The 35-year-old Swiss international becomes the third Sounders player in 2010 to win Player of the Week honors after Montero and Zakuani.


2010 MLS Player of the Week Winners

Week 1: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)


Week 2: Kenny Mansally (New England Revolution)


Week 3: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)


Week 4: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)


Week 5: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC )


Week 6: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)


Week 7: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)


Week 8: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)


Week 9: Emilio Renteria (Columbus Crew)


Week 10: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)


Week 11: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)


Week 12: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)


Week 13: Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)


Week 14: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)


Week 15: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)


Week 16: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)


Week 17: Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders)


Week 18: Juan Pablo Ángel (New York Red Bulls)


Week 19: Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas)


Week 20: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)


Week 21: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)


Week 22: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)


Week 23: Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids)


Week 24: Alan Gordon (Chivas USA)


Week 25: Blaise Nkufo (Seattle Sounders)