Chicago Fire goalkeeper Henry Ring was named Honda MLS Player of the Week by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA) for the week ending May 1, 2004 (Week Five). The Tennessee native registered his fourth shutout in five games as the Fire blanked the MetroStars, 3-0, at Soldier Field on Saturday night. It is the first career Player of the Week award for Ring, who was named the Fire's starting goalkeeper entering the season after serving as a backup for three seasons.
Ring registered seven saves against the MetroStars as he lowered his goals-against-average to 0.40 while notching his league-leading fourth shutout. Five of his seven saves came in the first half including one on a fifth minute left-footed shot by MetroStars forward Fabian Taylor. Midway through the first half, a chip shot by MetroStars midfielder Mark Lisi was deflected by Ring off the far post in the visitors' most dangerous scoring opportunity of the opening period.
"Definitely the defenders make my job real easy," he said after the match. "They limited the number of chances that the other teams have and I just try to do my job ... They've made this an easy transition from being the starter after three years of riding the pine. The guys are patient with me. I'm going to make mistakes but they've really cleaned things up for me."
The product of the University of South Carolina and 33rd overall pick in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft has started all five matches for the Fire in 2004 after starting just one regular season game in the previous three years. Ring has allowed two goals in five MLS matches this season and is second in saves (23).
A runner-up in last week's voting, Ring was selected ahead of San Jose Earthquakes defender Troy Dayak and Kansas City Wizards midfielder Chris Klein in Week Five. The Honda Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected every week throughout the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
2004 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS:
Week 1: Jaime Moreno (D.C. United)
Week 2: Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 3: Fabian Taylor (MetroStars)
Week 4: Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Week 5: Henry Ring (Chicago Fire)