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Jeff Parke named MLS Player of the Week

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Jeff Parke
In a week where nobody has a multiple goal game, and that five of the eight matches finish either 1-0 or 0-0, it’s a lot harder to come up with a clear player of the week winner.

Sure, maybe this is the week for a goalie to step up. Or, possibly, a chance to reward a defender.

Seattle defender Jeff Parke got the nod after a runoff vote was needed to break a tie between him and Philadelphia Union forward Carlos Ruiz after the the first round of ballots from the North American Soccer Reporters was counted.

Parke headed home the deciding goal deep into time added on as his Seattle Sounders beat Sporting Kansas City by a 1-0 count.

So, why not any goalies up for POTW when there were so many clean sheets over the past few days? If you look at some of the shutouts around the league, there weren’t that many clean-sheet goalkeepers who were all that busy. Sure, Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando, Seattle’s Kasey Keller and Portland’s Troy Perkins all made Save of the Week-worthy plays to keep their clean sheets alive. But none of them had to deal with even five shots on target.

Carlos Ruiz’s game winner was a wonder goal, a wrong-footed volley from well outside the box that gave Philly a 2-1 victory over Chicago. But Ruiz missed an earlier golden chance.

So many choices.

How The 11 voted: Circumstances weighed heavily, here. As in, Toronto FC going into the altitude of the Mile High City with three regular starting midfielders out of the lineup.

In the 60 minutes he was on the pitch, star Rapids’ striker Conor Casey did very little to influence the game. And a lot of that had to with Dicoy Williams, TFC’s Jamaican international who put in a fantastic effort; winning 50-50 balls, one-on-one battles and races towards goal. It was a complete effort from Williams, who earned a call up to the Jamaican national team for the Gold Cup.

And, we looked at all of the big saves the keepers made this weekend. None loomed larger than Portland’s Troy Perkins’ diving stop of a point-blank header from Columbus striker Tommy Heinemann. So, he got the second-place nod.

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