Montreal maestro Ignacio Piatti voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week

The Montreal Impact have skyrocketed from the Eastern Conference basement into a playoff place, and Ignacio Piatti has led the way.

The Argentinean playmaker netted two goals in each of the Impact’s two victories last week, a scintillating run of form that’s earned him Alcatel MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 24 via a vote by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).

Piatti scored his first brace in last Wednesday’s 3-0 thumping of the Chicago Fire, then followed it up with another two-goal haul in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Those results have pushed IMFC into sixth place in the East with 36 points from a 10-8-6 record in league play.

On Wednesday, "Nacho" broke through the Fire back line and chipped his finish over goalkeeper Matt Lampson to open the scoring in the sixth minute. Later he would strike again for Montreal’s third goal, curling a bouncing shot past Lampson in the 38th minute.

The 32-year-old gave Montreal an early lead once again on Saturday night, running on to Blerim Dzemaili’s squared pass and stroking it goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 11th minute. RSL equalized 16 minutes later, but Piatti responded almost immediately, blasting home from a tight angle to push the Impact back in front. The brace was Piatti’s fourth this season and ninth in his MLS regular-season career.

Piatti’s big week runs the crafty creator’s season total to 14 goals and four assists, just three goals and two assists shy of his career bests. He currently ranks third in the MLS Golden Boot race in a three-way tie with Diego Valeri and Bradley Wright-Phillips, behind only David Villa and Nemanja Nikolic.

Thanks in large part to Piatti, Montreal are riding a four-game winning streak into their Heineken Rivalry Week showdown against their 401 Derby antagonists Toronto FC at Stade Saputo on Sunday (4:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TVA Sports, TSN in Canada).

The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

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