Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is coming off a four-goal, two-assist week, one that wasn’t good enough to earn Player of the Week honors from Major League Soccer. Instead, the award went to Sporting’s Benny Feilhaber, whose two goals and one assist had the virtue of complementing Kansas City’s two-win week. With the opening goal on Saturday against the Galaxy, Feilhaber may have won his head-to-head battle with Keane, too.
Between that and the difference in position (Feilhaber manning midfield; Keane playing striker), there are a number intriguing ways to engage this debate. Possibly the most interesting: Is a player’s pair of very good games worth more another’s single, stand-out one?
The latter, of course, is Keane, whose three-goal, two-assist night mid-week against the Revolution was one of the league’s most productive games of the year. Granted, New England’s defense is doing an excellent impression of a revolving door, but it’s not like a slew of others have led their teams to five-goal. The Revs may be bad, but Robbie Keane was also extremely productive.
Not so on Saturday. Though Keane broke through late, the rest of his efforts were neutralized by the Kansas City defense. By the time he got on the scoreboard, Sporting had the match in hand.
Feilhaber, on the other hand, scored his team’s game winner on Wednesday – a 93rd minute blast from 19 yards that slapped the bottom of Steve Clark’s crossbar (above). Ten minutes into Saturday’s game, Feilhaber struck again, beating Jaime Penedo from a similar distance, albeit on a dead ball (below). Add in an assist on Wednesday’s opener, and Feilhaber played a part in three crucial goals
Is that enough to usurp Keane? When you add in his other contributions in midfield (league his team in passing on Wednesday), it’s at least a compelling case, but it’s difficult to say a man coming off four goals in two games is the wrong choice. Yet given the circumstances of his contributions (and, the level of competition), we’re giving the edge to the Feilhaber. He is our Major League Soccer Player of the Week.
Here’s his Saturday goal: