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Morales wins battle of the Javiers for MLS Player of the Week

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Javier Morales’ performance was judged to be superior to that of Javier Martina.

The Real Salt Lake midfielder was named the MLS player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters on Monday. Morales scored twice and set up another goal as RSL decimated the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1, only adding to Rio Tinto’s reputation as being the toughest place for a road team to go in all of North American pro sports.

Yes, one of Morales’ goals came on a penalty. But his other marker was a screamer from outside the box. And, he simply dominated Los Angeles with penetrating pass after penetrating pass. Andy Williams got the opener off a cross from Paulo Jr.; but the whole move was started thanks to a quick no-look pass from Morales that pierced the Galaxy’s back four.

Toronto FC fans would champion the performance of Javier Martina, who scored twice in a 2-0 win over Portland. Martina’s second goal was a ridiculous volley that’s up for goal of the week.

And, Chris Wondolowski, the wearer of MLS’ Golden Boot, scored twice as the San Jose Earthquakes swamped FC Dallas.

How The 11 voted: Morales got the nod over Martina. Why? You have to look at the opposition. Portland has proved through the first two weeks of the season that it belongs at the very bottom of the power-ranking lists. The Galaxy is, well, the Galaxy.

Yes, you can argue that Los Angeles was without the service of Landon Donovan because of the international weekend, but RSL was without midfield anchor Will Johnson and Designated Player-striker Alvaro Saborio.

Martina’s weekend was impressive, and got our second-place vote. But, due to the early-season importance of the game — and the fact that Morales also took control of the midfield, he got the nod over the other Javier.

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