Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata already received his most important rewards – three road points and a nine-game unbeaten streak to start the season – and after scoring two goals to inspire RSL's 3-2, come-from-behind win over the Chicago Fire, he has added the MLS Player of the Week award for Week 9.
Plata scored in the 72nd minute on Saturday to make it a 2-1 game, and after Álvaro Saborío tied the game in the 90th minute, the dimuntive Ecuadorian struck again in the third minute of stopage time to keep Salt Lake the only unbeaten team in MLS so far. The goals give Plata a total of five on the season, the highest single-season total in his four-year MLS career.
Plata had twice as many votes as any other player, receiving six votes to Chad Marshall's three after the Seattle Sounders center back led the defensive effort and headed in the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Philadelphia. Five other players received one vote each. (See how the NASR members voted here.)
It is the third time this season a Real Salt Lake player has won Player of the Week; goalkeeper Nick Rimando already has two awards to his name this year.
2014 MLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- Week 9: Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake)
- Week 8: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
- Week 7: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
- Week 6: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
- Week 5: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
- Week 4: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
- Week 3: Bernardo Añor (Columbus Crew)
- Week 2: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC)
- Week 1: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)