On the strength of a hat trick in a wild seven-goal match and a crucial assist to add drama to one of the league's best new rivalries, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 22 of the 2018 MLS season.
In the first of two Week 22 matches for the Galaxy, a 2-2 draw against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Thursday, Ibrahimovic’s assist in the 82nd minute put his team up 2-1 and allowed them to secure a road result.
On Sunday, at home in the StubHub Center, Ibrahimovic recorded his first MLS hat trick, adding an assist for good measure, to lead the Galaxy to a wild 4-3 win over Orlando City SC in which the Galaxy overcame three deficits over the course of the match before persevering, extending the team's unbeaten streak to nine.
Ibrahimovic is currently the league’s second top goal scorer, with 15 goals in 17 games played. Heading into this weekend's slate of games, the Galaxy are third in the Western Conference with 35 points (10-7-5 overall record).
Though he was a late scratch for this past Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, and won't be available for the team's return to action on Saturday, August 4 to face Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+), he could see the field again as soon as August 11, when the Galaxy host Minnesota United FC.
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada.