Few players are as integral to their side's success as Ignacio Piatti. When he’s off his game, his team is off their game, but when he’s switched on, the Impact are flying! His 2 goals and 1 assist against Orlando City on Saturday afternoon earned him only his first (surprisingly) Offensive Player of the Week honour in 2017.
It was a see-saw battle as the Lions defended home turf against the boys from La Belle Province, but Nacho was not to be denied. With the Impact down early, Piatti literally put the team on his back. In the 16th minute, pressing OCSC defence, Nacho’s sliding tackle recovered possession, and with a clever shimmy faking out 2 defenders, he found Swiss DP Blerim Dzemaili at the top of the 18 who made no mistake, 1-1.
In an incredible one minute span just before the hour mark, Piatti would add 2 goals to force Montreal into the lead with 2 well taken goals in stylish fashion. Nacho’s 2 goals gave him 8 on the season so far, bumping him into a multi-way tie for 3rd in league scoring. Although the Impact gave up an extremely late equalizer allowing Orlando to recover a point, Piatti’s performance was one for the ages.
The trend of MLS defenders finding their way onto the score sheet continued in week 16 as Antonio Delamea helped his New England Revs make things interesting against the high-flying Chicago Fire and earning himself his first Defensive Player of the Week honour.
With the Fire leading 2-0 into the second half after being out shot and out possessed by the Revolution, Delamea finally pulled one back for the home side, getting a head on the end of a rebounded ball inside the 6 yard box in the midst of a mad scramble. But the comeback was not to be despite the Slovenians’ best efforts. Delamea added 2 interceptions, 4 clearances and 5 recoveries, as well as a 93% pass completion, 4 aerial battles won and 4 total shots.