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2011 MLS Player of the Week Round 8: Joao Plata (Toronto FC)

(Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

After eight weeks of the season, eight different clubs have provided the MLS Player of the Week. Week 8′s winner is Joao Plate of Toronto FC.

Plata starred in Toronto’s second win of the season, a 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo.

The leading scorer at the 2011 MLS Combine and 49th overall pick at this year’s SuperDraft scored a goal and an assist in Toronto’s 2-1 over Houston, last Saturday.

His club said of his performance:

When Plata was selected at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in the final round, 49th overall (out of 54), one of the first questions he asked a TFC staff member was “what number will I wear?”

He is small, but confident in his ability. His fearless pursuit of the opposition goal created numerous chances throughout the match, the most important of which came at the 81st minute when he threaded Maicon Santos through on goal for a 2-0 lead.

Facing Houston, and subsequently demolishing their defence, also marks a milestone in personal growth for Plata. When the teenager first faced the mammoth Dynamo defenders and midfielders in preseason, they tossed the 5’3″ Ecuadorian around at will.

Plata learned from that and didn’t show the slightest reluctance to put his skills on display against the bruising visitors. Plata dropped in the draft because MLS is considered too physical for someone of his stature, or perhaps because he occupies an international roster spot. Whatever the reason, 20, 259 Toronto supporters left BMO Field on Saturday quite satisfied with Toronto’s selection.

At 5′ 3″, Plata is the smallest player in Major League Soccer.

How they voted:

Voter POTW Choice Second Choice
Steven Sandor Joao Plata (TOR) Bouna Condoul (NY)
Scott French Joao Plata (TOR) Scott Palguta (COL)
Frank Giase Joao Plata (TOR) Andy Najar (DC)
JP Dellacamera Joao Plata (TOR) Landon Donovan (LA)
Elliott Almond Joao Plata (TOR) Scott Palguta (COL)
Phil Schoen Joao Plata (TOR) Eddie Gaven (CLB)
Michael C. Lewis Joao Plata (TOR) Thierry Henry (NY)
Orrin Schwartz Joao Plata (TOR) Jack Jewsbury (POR)
Jamie Trecker Joao Plata (TOR) David Beckham (LA)
Steve Clare David Beckham (LA) Kasey Keller (SEA)
Marc Connolly David Beckham (LA) Joao Plata (TOR)
Bobby McMahon David Beckham (LA) Joao Plata (TOR)
Don Ruiz David Beckham (LA) Kasey Keller (SEA)
Jonathan Tannenwald Bouna Condoul (NY) Joao Plata (TOR)
Shawn Mitchell Bouna Condoul (NY) Joao Plata (TOR)
Jonah Freedman Kasey Keller (SEA) Joao Plata (TOR)
Tom Timmermann Charlie Davies (DC) Joao Plata (TOR)
Buzz Carrick Kevin Hartman (DAL) Mamadou Danso (POR)
Nick Thomas Thierry Henry (NY) Joao Plata (TOR)
Shaun Schafer Tim Ream (NY) Kevin Hartman (DAL)

Previous 2011 PotW Winners:

Week 7 Winner: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Week 6 Winner: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 5 Winner: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Week 4 Winner: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Week 3 Winner: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Week 2 Winner: Javier Morales (RSL)
Week 1 Winner: Omar Bravo (SKC)


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