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Crew’s Oduro named MLS Player of the Week

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Dominic Oduro
Dominic Oduro
With an assist and a goal, Columbus Crew forward Dominic Oduro was named MLS Player of the Week. Oduro got the most votes out of the membership of the North American Soccer Reporters. His performance Sunday helped the Crew keep its playoff hopes alive, as the men in yellow got a 4-2 decision over FC Dallas. Oduro set up Jairo Arrieta’s opener and then, later in the first half, finished his chance with a shot that went just inside the post. Oduro’s goal was the Crew’s third marker of the game, and would eventually go on to be the game winner. How The 11 voted: Like the majority of our NASR colleagues, we went with Oduro. Yes, this was a weekend that saw Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee scoree twice. He’s second on the MLS scoring chart, but it was difficult to give him the vote over Oduro. Why? Usually, a brace is enough to earn a forward the POTW nod. After all, this vote is historically dominated by the forwards who score the most goals in the week. Here’s why. Magee’s brace was impressive but, had he been able to complete the hat trick by burying a penalty kick, his Fire teammates would have been celebrating a needed win, not a draw. But Magee missed his spot kick. The Montreal Impact then scrambled to a 2-2 draw in Chicago after Maxim Tissot headed home the equalizer. Tissot’s goal came after the Magee penalty miss. Had Magee buried the chance, Tissot’s goal would have been a consolation marker, instead of a point-splitting effort. Chicago is scrambling for a playoff spot and needed the win. The penalty gaffe was too glaring to ignore. My late father played in the Hungarian second division as a teenager (back when Hungary was a world power in soccer) and could have taken the opportunity to play with one of the Vienna teams when, in 1956, the powers-that-be figured out he was one of the thousands of displaced Magyars who were in Austrian refugee camps. He was a striker, and my memories of watching games with him, listening to him break them down, are strong with me. And, funny enough, when I listen to tapes of myself calling NASL matches on Sportsnet, I can’t believe how much he has shaped the way I analyze games. I can hear my father’s insights over the air, but in my own voice. So, you won’t hear me saying the shooter was “unlucky” if a shot from inside the box goes off the post. That’s a miss. A close miss, but a miss. (My dad used to say that only poor strikers ever talked about by how close they came to scoring.) You won’t hear me saying a “perfect” strike was saved or went off the woodwork. Again, in my dad’s words, a “perfect shot is one that goes in.” One of the things he used to say was that a missed penalty was “always the shooter’s fault.” And, in a key situation where Chicago needed the win, Magee missed the penalty that could have iced his team the game. And that badly takes the shine off his efforts, at least in my book. If I would have put Magee on my ballot, I would have felt dad shaking his head in disapproval. And, to his credit, Magee told the media after the game that he should have buried the penalty.

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