The hottest player in MLS took his opportunity and ran with it.
Roland Alberg, of the Philadelphia Union, got that opportunity in June, when Vincent Nogueira suddenly left the club and returned to France. The Union needed an attacking player to fill the void, and Alberg stepped in and set to filling it.
After seeing little or no playing time from the middle of April, Alberg came off the bench at halftime for the Union in their first game after the Copa America Centenario break and scored a goal. He hasn’t stopped scoring, and now is one of five nominees for Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month.
The MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selects the five final nominees at the end of each month. The winner is then determined by your vote - voting ends at 10:00 am ET on July 1.
Here are the nominees:
- Roland Alberg, Philadelphia Union: Over eight straight games, beginning April 23, the Dutchman had no starts, played a total of 15 minutes, and was an unused sub four times. But he scored the winner in a 3-2 Open Cup win over Harrisburg City Islanders June 15, then scored as a halftime sub in a 3-2 loss to NYCFC June 18. That earned him a start June 22 vs. Chicago Fire and he produced a hat trick in that 4-3 win. Three days later, he started and scored again in a 3-2 loss to Vancouver. That earned him Player of the Week honors.
- Bill Hamid, D.C. United: The United goalkeeper missed the start of the season because of injury and made his 2016 debut Friday of Memorial Day Weekend with a 1-0 win over SKC and has been getting better and better. In three games in June, Hamid went 1-1-1, allowing two goals in that span and making 14 saves.
- Jack Harrison, New York City FC: The 19-year-old from Bolton, England, established himself as a regular for NYCFC in June, starting three games in the month and collecting a goal and an assist as he helped New York City win two of its last three and rise to second place in the Eastern Conference. Harrison completed 11 dribbles over the course of the month, the most of any player in the league.
- Yura Movsisyan, Real Salt Lake: The veteran forward didn't play in RSL's most recent game, but he played in three of four games in June and scored a goal in each of them, helping RSL win two of those games and draw the other. In the one game he didn't play, Real lost, 2-0 to FC Dallas.
- Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers: The Argentine led Portland to a 2-0-1 month, scoring two goals and posting two assists while generating dozens of goalscoring chances for his club as they continued their ascent up the Western Conference standings.
Etihad Player of the Month Sweepstakes
Enter now for your chance to win an autographed jersey from an Etihad Player of the Month winner and other prizes. Sweepstakes end at 10:00 AM ET on July 1, 2016.