Seattle Sounder David Estrada became just the third player in MLS history to score at least three goals in his team’s season opener. He did it Saturday against a porous Toronto FC defence in a 3-1 win — and, the effort earned him an easy win as the MLS Player of the Week after the ballots from the members of the North American Soccer Reporters were counted.
Estrada scored on a goalmouth scramble, on a breakaway and on a perfect feed from teammate Alvaro Fernandez. But all three goals could be credited to Toronto FC’s high defensive line, which was regularly torn apart by Estrada’s runs, and some very poor marking in the penalty area. And, the loss of sweeper Torsten Frings early in the first half didn’t help, either.
Only Jason Kreis (Dallas, 1999) and Brian Ching (Houston 2006) have scored three or more goals each in their first games of an MLS season.
How The 11 voted: Last year, you got the feeling that a player was somewhat penalized when he put up a big number against Toronto FC’s backline. Voters were of the mind “yeah, it’s good that he scored those goals, but he did it against TFC.”
It’s too early to penalize a player because of the opposition. So, Estrada got our vote. But if Toronto does not get some mobility into the centre of its backline, we can look forward to either handicapping guys who put up big numbers against the Reds or giving many, many POTW awards to guys who faced TFC.
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