The MVP campaign has begun in earnest for Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales.
The Argentine’s two-goal performance singlehandedly beat the East-leading Columbus Crew and earned Morales the Player of the Week award as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 20.
WATCH: Full match highlights
It’s the third career Player of the Week honor for the 2010 MLS All-Star, who also won the award in Week 1 of this season after scoring two goals against the San Jose Earthquakes. However, this brace this past weekend happened to come against one of his Argentine idols in Crew midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
His first strike came early in the match as he picked out the far right post off a short corner kick in the 11th minute. A low curling free kick on the hour mark put the match away and he was subbed out three minutes later with the result in hand. The brace takes him to six goals on the season, tying him for a career high.
"When he’s like that we’re a pretty tough team,” RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said.
The 30-year-old Morales will now look to put his stamp on the CONCACAF Champions League in Real Salt Lake’s debut match against Panamanians Arabe Unido on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Rio Tinto.
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)