The Portland Timbers picked up their third win of the season this past weekend, and back-up goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was a big reason for that.
Gleeson, 25, came through for the Timbers by making four saves – three of which were incredible – in their 2-1 home win over Toronto FC on Sunday. His impressive performance not only allowed Portland to maintain their advantage on the scoreboard, but also earned him the MLS Player of the Week award, voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters.
Filling in for the injured Adam Kwarasey, Gleeson was heroic down the stretch of the match at Providence Park: He first denied Jozy Altidore of a go-ahead goal with a point-blank stop in the 63rd minute, opening the door for Diego Valeri's free-kick winner, and then soared in the air in the 77th minute to push away a venomous shot from Michael Bradley. Gleeson also stopped another would-be equalizer from Will Johnson by flying into the air to stop the Toronto midfielder's thunderous header.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from the NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. Gleeson is the first Timbers player to win the award this year, as well as the first goalkeeper.