Major League Soccer player of the week

MLS Player of the Week — Week 34: Portland’s Darlington Nagbe

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They needed that.

Yes, Darlington Nagbe’s Portland Timbers would’ve made the playoffs even without his heroics on “Decision Day”, but this club needed to avoid “backing in” to the postseason.

But so much was on the line before the 25-year-old midfielder recorded a brace to help Portland into the West’s No. 3 seed with a 4-1 win over Colorado Rapids. The Timbers missed the playoffs last year, and largely disappointed during their rebound attempt.

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Now they get a home game at Providence Park, just a couple of weeks after their last trip outside the Top Six. Considering that San Jose’s loss would’ve allowed the Timbers the make the postseason, Nagbe’s brace may’ve just saved some jobs.

Nagbe scored a wonderful free kick for Portland, and wasn’t deterred when the Rapids tied it up moments later. He made it 2-1 with a second goal.

USMNT, anyone?

MLS Players of the Week

Week 1: Tyler Deric, Houston Dynamo

Week 2: Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

Week 3: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

Week 4: Kaka, Orlando City SC

Week 5: Harrison Shipp, Chicago Fire

Week 6: Jaime Penedo, LA Galaxy

Week 7: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas

Week 8: Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew SC

Week 9: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas

Week 10: Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas

Week 11: Chad Barrett, Seattle Sounders

Week 12: Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew SC

Week 13: Krisztian Nemeth, Sporting Kansas City

Week 14: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

Week 15: David Villa, New York City FC

Week 16: Matias Perez Garcia, San Jose Earthquakes

Week 17: Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers

Week 18: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

Week 21: Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

Week 23: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

Week 24: Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy

Week 25: Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy

Week 26: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

Week 27: Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact

Week 28: Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew SC

Week 29: Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC

Week 30: Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

Week 31: Tim Melia, Sporting Kansas City

Week 33: Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas

Week 34: Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers

PST’s Major League Soccer player of the week: No question who was tops

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With apologies to Diego Valeri’s continued hot displays for Portland and Steve Clark’s six-save show in the Crew’s 1-0 win over New England, there was only going to be one winner of PST‘s MLS player of the week award this time around.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, you may now step forward to collect your prize of Internet-based high-fives.

BWP recorded his third hat trick of the season in the Red Bulls 4-1 dismantling of Seattle, and honestly should’ve had an assist moments before he recorded the match-opening goal. The game was less than a half-minute old when Wright-Phillips laid a ball off for Ambroise Oyongo, but the Cameroonian was stopped only for BWP to hammer home the rebound.

[ MLS Snapshot: Red Bulls 4, Seattle 1 ]

A penalty kick was Wright-Phillips second goal, as Stefan Frei guessed correctly but couldn’t stop the shot.

The third was just as unstoppable, and showed just how comfortable BWP is right now. His 24th goal of the season, three shy of the MLS record shared by Chris Wondolowski and Roy Lassiter, was calmly lasered under the crossbar moments after the PK conversion.