He's done it again.
Seattle Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz, after another highlight-reel goal that delivered his team all three points, has garnered MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 20. It's the second straight week Ruidiaz has taken home the accolade, coming off his brace in Seattle's 6-2 rivalry rout of the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in Week 19. The 31-year-old also won in Week 14, giving him three Player of the Week nods this season.
The Peruvian continued his fine form in Seattle's 1-0 midweek road victory over FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium, striking for his 14th goal of the season in the 63rd minute. The tally has Ruidiaz leading the Golden Boot presented by Audi race, two clear of the New England Revolution's Gustavo Bou and Sporting Kansas City's Daniel Salloi.
Remarkably, Ruidiaz's latest strike came just 20 seconds after he entered the contest as a second-half substitute, with Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer opting to field a rotated lineup due to fixture congestion. The striker didn't enter the match until just after the hour mark, along with fellow Designated Player Nicolas Lodeiro.
They created the game-deciding goal virtually immediately, as Lodeiro found Ruidiaz with a feed into FCD's penalty box. Ruidiaz saw his initial left-footed shot blocked by center back Nkosi Tafari, but hit a curling strike on the rebound that banked off the crossbar and post before settling into the net.
GOAL: Raúl Ruidíaz, Seattle Sounders - 63rd minute
The victory was Seattle's second straight in league play after a stretch where they went just 1W-3L-1D over their previous five matches. It allowed the Sounders to regain the top spot in the Western Conference standings, which they currently occupy with a record of 11W-3L-6D and 39 points.
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 the vote. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.