Javier Morales wins MLS Player of the Week, nominated for Goal of the Week

SANDY, UT - MARCH 26: Ned Grabavoy #20, Fabian Espindola #7, Andy Williams #77 and Javier Morales #11 of Real Salt Lake celebrate a gaol during a game against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the first half of an MLS soccer game March 26, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Here it is the official announcement from RSL that most of us thought would be coming:


Midfield Maestro's Two-goal, One-Assist Performance Paced Claret-and-Cobalt to Massive 4-1 Victory over Los Angeles

SANDY, Utah / NEW YORK (Monday, March 28, 2011) - Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters(NASR) for Week 2 of the 2011 MLS season after scoring twice and setting up a third goal in RSL's 4-1 demolition of the LA Galaxy last Saturday. Morales collected 12 of the 21 first-place votes on this week's ballots, while teammate Paulo Jr. finished second with five.

Real Salt Lake swarmed the 2010 Supporters' Shield winners from the opening kickoff, beginning when Morales sliced the defense with a pass to Paulo Jr., who fed Andy Williams for a 1-0 lead in just the second minute. With Morales as the catalyst, the home team's offense continued to click, and soon Paulo Jr. was taken down in the box by goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Morales calmly converted the penalty with a stutter-step delivery to put RSL up 2-0 after just 10 minutes of play. Morales added to the lead in the 41st minute when he received a quick throw-in from Chris Wingert and fired the bouncing ball from the corner of the 18-yard-box over the head of Saunders for a commanding 3-0 lead before halftime.

more after the jump:

This marks Morales' fourth career MLS Player of the Week award, following a pair of similar honors in 2010 (Weeks 1 and 20) and his first such distinction after Week 6 of the 2009 campaign. The award was the 17th weekly honor given to a Real Salt Lake player in the club's now seven seasons of play and the fourth bestowed upon Morales, leaving him just one shy of Jeff Cunningham's franchise-high mark of five. In addition, Álvaro Saborío and Robbie Findley have collected two awards each, while Pablo CamposFabian EspíndolaChris Klein, and Yura Movsisyan have each garnered the honor once.

Real Salt Lake's next match comes next Tuesday, April 5, when it travels to San Jose, Costa Rica for the decisive second leg of its CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Deportivo Saprissa (8:00 p.m. MT, live on FOX Soccer and TeleFutura). RSL, the first MLS club to advance this far in the expanded tournament format, holds a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Rio Tinto Stadium back on March 15.

The 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. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com.

AT&T Goal of the Week nominees, according to MLSsoccer.com

Fans and media members can submit votes via text to 22442 for any of these five strikes:

The winner is determined by the total number of votes cast online and via text and is announced on Fridays. 

To see video of all five nominees and vote CLICK HERE. Text "GOAL" to 22442 to get the list of nominees sent to your mobile phone each week. Voting runs from Noon ET on Mondays until 11:59 pm PT time on Thursdays.

There you go some respect being paid to Javier Morales, I still had Paulo Jr. as my man of the match for being a critical part of 3 of the teams 4 goals on Saturday night in his first ever MLS Start.


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