Home Featured Mapp earns Player of the Week nod for taking advantage of hapless TFC defending

Mapp earns Player of the Week nod for taking advantage of hapless TFC defending

Justin Mapp
In a week where eight goals were scored at BMO Field, six more at Crew Stadium and Real Salt Lake were finally beaten at home in MLS play, there would be a slew of Player of the Week candidates.

Heck, Philadelphia had two multiple-goal scorers in the same game in its 6-2 romp over Toronto FC. And, Justin Mapp got the nod after the votes from the North American Soccer Reporters were tallied.

Union teammate Danny Mwanga also had two goals, and helped set up Mapp’s opening goal of the game.

But it was Mapp’s second goal of the game, a rocket from outside the box, that set him apart from Mwanga. Maicon Santos had scored twice to get TFC back to 3-2 after it went in at halftime trailing by three. But Mapp’s blast destroyed that momentum — setting the stage for the two late Mwanga tallies.

How The 11 voted: Let’s be honest. As good as Mapp and Mwanga were on Saturday in Toronto, they were assisted by some truly haphazard defending from the Reds. Mapp was given way too much time and space to measure up his shot on the 4-2 goal. The defenders parted like the Red Sea to allow Mapp space to slot past TFC keeper Stefan Frei for the opening goal.

With that in mind, The 11’s vote went to Emmanuel Ekpo of the Columbus Crew. Yes, teammate Andres Mendoza scored twice on the night in the 3-3 draw with Chivas USA, but his second goal was a gift off an errant back pass from the Goats’ backline.

Ekpo made a deft pass to set up Mendoza’s first goal, and his equalizer was a thing of beauty. In close quarters in the Chivas penalty area, and with his back to goal, Ekpo was able to spin and rocket a shot up high into the opposition goal. He didn’t have time, he didn’t have space, but he scored the vital goal.

The Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis, who has been an assist machine all season long, got the second-place vote. He set up both goals for the home side as it rallied to tie cross-state rival FC Dallas 2-2.

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