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Montero named MLS Player of the Week; The 11 opts for Hesmer

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Fredy Montero
Seattle Sounders’ striker Fredy Montero finished at the top when the votes were counted, and was named MLS Player of the Week on Monday.

It wasn’t a huge surprise. Montero scored twice, one on an audacious free kick, another on a tap-in after a goalmouth scramble as the Sounders came back from two one-goal deficits to win 3-2 against the hated Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.

With Montero quieting the Timbers Army in one of the most high-profile matches to occur on the MLS schedule so far this season, it would have taken a brave bettor to put money against the North American Soccer Reporters’ vote going the way it did.

How The 11 voted: Montero got two goals in Seattle’s first MLS visit to Portland — their traditional arch-rivals dating back to the ‘70s heyday of the NASL. The occasion couldn’t be ignored. But, Montero only got the second-place vote.

Why? Think back to last Wednesday. The Vancouver Whitecaps lost to the Columbus Crew on a last-gasp headed goal from Jeff Cunningham, but the goalkeeping heroics of Will Hesmer set the stage for that dramatic finish.

If not for Hesmer, Columbus would not have been able to leave Empire Field with a stolen three points. Ask Terry Dunfield or Camilo how they feel about Hesmer’s performance last week. They still might be talking to themselves. Camilo was robbed a couple of times thanks to Hesmer’s acrobatics, and Dunfield had a penalty saved.

No, Columbus and Vancouver aren’t traditional rivals. Their Wednesday match didn’t have the shine of the gleaming Sunday rivalry game between the Timbers and Sounders. But Hesmer’s performance can’t be ignored.

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