It was a quiet weekend in MLS as the international break went into effect. With just three matches to sort through, the decision for Players of the Week was fairly simple.
Offensive Player of the Week: Juan Agudelo
Juan Agudelo is an enigma. Immensely talented and capable of scoring a wonder-goal at any time, but the 24 year old forward has yet to have a real break-out season. As league punching bag Minnesota United took yet another beating at the hands of the home side New England Revolution in Saturday’s home opener, Juan’s brace got him on the board and also earned him Offensive Player of the Week honours.
The Revs got on the board in the 4th minute through an excellent header from close range by Agudelo. An excellent cross was swung into the box found Juan who beat his marker Collen Warner and neatly put his header past his former goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Agudelo followed up with his second of the match in the 41st minute as he cut into the box from the left side and slotted the ball home beating Shuttleworth on his short side. Agudelo completed his brace and the Revs crushed the Loons 5-2.
Defensive Player of the Week: Matt Van Oekel
Matt Van Oekel is not a household name in Salt Lake circles. Living in the shadows of a legend by the name of Nick Rimando can do that to a goalkeeper. But with Rimando out of the lineup, Van Oekel stepped in and earned a point for a struggling RSL and Defensive Player of the Week honours for himself. The 2016 NASL Goalkeeper of the Year helped Salt Lake to a 0-0 draw in a close, albeit a sleep-inducing match at Red Bull Arena. Van Oekel made 3 crucial saves to keep RSL in it. His first came in the 64th minute, making an incredible diving save to stop Frederik Gulbranson followed by stopping BWP from close range in the 80th, and capping off the day by yet another stunner, stopping an Alex Muyl volley in injury time.