Player of the Matchday

Philadelphia Union striker CJ Sapong wins Alcatel MLS Player of the Week

CJ Sapong scored the first hat trick of his professional career on Saturday, netting all three goals in a 3-0 defeat of the New York Red Bulls to deliver the first win of the year for the Philadelphia Union

On Tuesday he was duly honored with the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week award for Week 9 of the MLS season by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).

A bright spot for the struggling Union all year, Sapong broke a scoreless deadlock at Talen Energy Stadium with a deflected finish in the 74th minute then struck again on a close-range header seven minutes later. He bagged his hat trick – just the third one in Union franchise history – with an 85th-minute penalty kick

Saturday's heroics pushed Sapong into a tie for first place (alongside Houston's Erick "Cubo" Torres) in the MLS Golden Boot standings with seven goals thus far. 

Sapong and the Union will look to build on last weekend's breakthrough with a visit to RFK Stadium, not far from his hometown of Manassas, Virginia, to face D.C. United on Saturday (7 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.