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Lenhart earns MLS Player of the Week nod, despite Hassli

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Stephen Lenhart
Eric Hassli may have scored the most jaw-dropping goal since the dawn of time, but it wasn’t enough to earn him the nod as MLS Player of the Week.

San Jose Earthquakes’ striker Steven Lenhart got the nod after the ballots from the members of the North American Soccer Reporters were counted.

Hard to argue with the decision: Lenhart bagged a hat trick and set up the Quakes’ winning goal in a 4-2 win over D.C. United.

Lenhart scored twice within eight minutes to transform a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. He then set up Simon Dawkins’ for the Quakes’ third goal of the game. Lenhart headed home an insurance marker.

How The 11 voted: Lenhart. Sheer quantity of goals — and the fact he was in on all four of the Quakes’ markers. Hard to vote against him.

The second-place vote went to Hassli. Sure, there were other two-goal scorers this weekend. Sure, Hassli got his first on a penalty, albeit one that he cheekily chipped up the middle.

But Hassli did it on the road, in Seattle, a place that’s well, more than a little hostile to Vancouver fans. It’s bad enough for teams outside of Portland and Vancouver to go to Seattle, but it’s a special environment when the old NASL-USL rivals get together.

And you can’t ignore the timing of Hassli’s wonder strike. He scored just a minute after Seattle had taken the lead. He stopped all of the Sounders’ momentum, after they had scored twice in three minutes.

Check out the goal here.

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