VANCOUVER, BC - Major League Soccer (MLS) announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton has been named the league's Player of the Week for Week 19.
The Hickory, North Carolina, native earned the weekly award following an outstanding seven save, one assist, shutout victory over Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place last Saturday, as well as an important two save performance against Eastern Conference side Sporting Kansas City in Vancouver’s draw away from home earlier in the week.
This is the third time in four weeks that a Whitecaps FC player has received the award, with strike partners Kenny Miller and Camilo also being honoured in Week 16 and 17 respectively.
After the ‘Caps took an early 1-0 lead on Saturday, Knighton stepped up to keep his team in front for the duration of the match. First came a low stop on an Eddie Johnson strike on 22 minutes. On the ensuing corner kick, Knighton again was on hand to make an incredible palm save on a close-range effort from Zach Scott. Three minutes later Knighton had perhaps his finest moment when he first rushed out to deny Johnson in alone on goal, then quickly got to his feet to kick away a rebound attempt from Obafemi Martins. Finally, to cap off a fine performance, Knighton boomed a long goal kick up field that resulted in a Darren Mattocks goal, giving him his first career assist.
The seven total saves were a career high for Knighton and the second most by a ‘Caps ‘keeper in MLS (Joe Cannon, eight saves vs. LA Galaxy on July 30, 2011). The shutout was Knighton’s second in three matches after also earning a clean sheet against D.C. United on June 29.
The victory was the first for Whitecaps FC against Sounders FC since joining MLS and brought the club’s undefeated run to five matches.
Whitecaps FC are back in action this coming Sunday, July 14, when Eastern Conference side Chicago Fire come to BC Place for their lone meeting of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT. Tickets are available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets. The match will also be broadcast live on Sportsnet Pacific. Fans can also listen to Sunday’s match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from North American Soccer Reporters. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at soccerreporters.com.