The stars came out to play this past week in Major League Soccer.
Didier Drogba, David Villa, and Sebastian Giovinco all found the back of the net, but none shone brighter than Vancouver Whitecaps FC youngster Kekuta Manneh. The 21-year-old was named MLS Player of the Week today after contributing towards five of Vancouver’s six goals in wins over Chicago Fire and Toronto FC.
He also helped set up Vancouver’s other goal.
Manneh opened the scoring in the 12th minute, picking off an errant pass before racing through midfield and smoothly tucking a left-footed shot between the legs of goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Just six minutes later, he flicked on a long ball at the halfway mark and sped past three Toronto FC players to get on the end of an Erik Hurtado throughball. Manneh’s attempt was stopped, but Christian Bolaños banged in the rebound.
He didn’t stop there.
In the 70th minute, Manneh dribbled into the Toronto FC box between three defenders and used a sweet cutback to send a defender flying before firing another left-footed shot to the far post.
Then, he assisted on Pedro Morales’ eventual game winner just two minutes later.
The native of Bakau, Gambia now has three goals and two assists so far this season. He also has 20 career MLS goals, which is the third most for Whitecaps FC players in MLS.
Manneh is the first Whitecaps FC player to earn Player of the Week honours this season. Last season, centre back Pa-Modou Kah was named Player of the Week after scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in Week 22. Also in 2015, David Ousted was named Player of the Month for June and striker Octavio Rivero took home the award in March.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
Whitecaps FC have now won three straight matches ahead of Sunday's Heineken Rivalry Week clash with Portland Timbers (1:30 p.m. PT on TSN1 and TSN 1040).
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