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Henry’s performance against TFC earns his MLS POTW honours

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Maybe there should be a rule: If you face Toronto FC, you can’t be eligible for Player of the Week. Your performance is tainted by the level of the opposition.

In a week that Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio bagged a hat trick and San Jose’s Steven Lenhart scored a brace — including a last-gasp equalizer, Thierry Henry’s one-goal, three-assist performance in a 4-1 win over Toronto FC earned him the nod as the league’s Player of the Week.

Henry got 11 of the 22 first-place votes cast by the membership of the North American Soccer Reporters. Saborio got eight.

Henry set up two Kenny Cooper tap-ins in which he toyed with the TFC central defence pairing of Richard Eckersley and Darren O’Dea. And Henry finished the rout with a 25-yard chip-shot over the head of out-of-position keeper Freddy Hall.

It’s so unfair to the rest of the league, that so often the Player of the Week comes from the team that played TFC. Henry was outstanding, but he took advantage of defenders and a goalie that didn’t play well together as a unit.

Henry now has been named POTW five times this season. The record for POTW awards in one season is six — set by Jason Kreis in 1999.

How The 11 voted: Henry. Was a tough call over Saborio. But what allowed us to give Henry the nod was that Saborio victimized Chivas USA — another poor team — for his hat trick. That mitigated the “yeah, but it was against TFC” factor that a voter has to think about when evaluating Henry’s performance.

Still, the goal was first class and his vision on his set-ups of Cooper showed he still has that great vision that made him an Arsenal legend.

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