No one expected this many goals from the Eastern Conference leading Philadephia Union and less so from the newly crowned MLS Player of the Week.
Midfielder Justin Mapp, who had a combined total of two goals in the last two seasons, tallied twice in Saturday’s 6-2 win at Toronto FC, earning the recognition of the North American Soccer Reporters, who bestowed him with the top honor for Week 11.
“It’s an absolute honor to accept this award and I’m very happy about it,” said Mapp. “However, the biggest accomplishment this weekend was for the team. It was very important for us to have gotten the three points on the road and to have scored all those goals. It was a key win for the team, and even though I'm pleased about the award, I’m more proud of the team’s performance this weekend.”
The 26-year-old, who is in his 10th MLS season, struck two decisive blows in his team’s lopsided victory – his first two goals of the campaign. With his team holding an early 1-0 lead on the road, Mapp pulled the trigger from distance in the 11th minute to double the advantage and get Philly off to a comfortable lead.
When Toronto FC stormed back in the second half to cut the deficit to 3-2, Mapp once again reestablished the two-goal lead with another dagger from outside the box, a Goal of the Week candidate that killed TFC’s momentum.
The native of Mississippi was especially lethal at BMO Field this weekend, cutting toward the middle of the field to use his expert left foot.
Mapp, who has never scored more than three goals in a single season, is the 11th different player from the 11th different club to win the award this year. He last captured the honor back in Week 23 of the 2005 season, nearly six years between Player of the Week awards.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - Union 6, Toronto FC 2
PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 11: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union)
Week 10: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders)
Week 9: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Week 8: Joao Plata (Toronto FC)
Week 7: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Week 6: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Week 4: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Week 3: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Week 2: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 1: Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City)