Philadelphia Union's Jay Simpson named Alcatel MLS Player of the Week

With the Philadelphia Union focused on Wednesday's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final (8 pm ET; ESPN2), the team featured a heavily-rotated side on the weekend against Sporting Kansas City. They needed an unlikely hero. 

Up stepped Jay Simpson

The Englishman took full advantage of his first start of the season, scoring twice to lead the Union to a 2-0 win as well as being named Alcatel MLS Player of the Week, as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR), for Week 30.

Simpson doubled his career MLS goal tally as he had previously scored just once in his first 25 appearances for Philly (four starts).

In the 70th minute, Simpson expertly sent a volley into the bottom corner, courtesy a headed layoff from Alejandro Bedoya, to put his side ahead.

Simpson scored again 19 minutes later, again courtesy a headed layoff from Bedoya. His second finish was much easier, with no defenders in sight.

The 29-year-old joined from lower division English side Leyton Orient, where he scored 33 goals in 87 matches. He was a product of Arsenal's academy, though featured only for the senior side in League Cup play, where he twice scored in three appearances.

After the Open Cup final on Wednesday, the Union travel to Columbus to face Crew SC on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The winning side will be in pole position for a home playoff game, as the teams are currently in line to face each other in the Knockout Round.

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.

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