The Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten run to five games with a pair of wins in Week 12 against the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire. Emilio Renteria led the way with two goals and an assist, earning the MLS Player of the Week honor from the NASR voters.
Whether coincidence or symbolic, the Crew enter the US Open Cup Third Round tonight by posting victories over last year’s two tournament finalists. The week began Wednesday in Seattle against the Sounders, whom the Crew had not beaten in six previous meetings.
Renteria started the play for the opening goal, picking up the ball at midfield in the 15th minute and driving toward the box up the right side before dishing the ball off to Dilly Duka along the touchline. Duka took a touch and a step before ripping a cross into the six for Justin Meram’s close-range header.
The Venezuelan then finally broke his dry spell, striking a volley off a bouncing ball from 30 yards in the 76th minute for his first goal of the year after finishing second on the team with eight last season. That was all the Crew needed as they picked up their first win against Seattle, 2-0.
Renteria scored in his second consecutive game Saturday against Crew rival Chicago. Having already given the club the lead in the ninth minute, Eddie Gaven turned provider in the 43rd minute to double the lead through Renteria. Shaun Francis sent a long ball up the left to Gaven, who cut the ball into the middle as he approached the end line, finding Renteria. With his back to goal on the six, Renteria shook defender Austin Berry off his should before turning and fiving past Sean Johnson for what would prove to be the 2-1 winner.
It is the second Player of the Week honor for Renteria, who was recognized in Week 9 of 2010 for a goal in each of the team’s two road wins against New York and Kansas City.
Renteria received nine of the 19 votes cast with Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Sabrorio receiving four. Crew teammates Eddie Gaven and Andy Gruenebaum also received two votes each, giving the club 13 of the 19.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected each week of the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More details and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
Match Highlights – Wednesday vs Seattle Sounders
Match Highlights – Saturday vs Chicago Fire [+]
How They Voted:
|Voter||First Choice||Second Choice|
|Steven Sandor||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|Orrin Schwartz||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)||Kei Kamara (SKC)|
|Jonathan Tannenwald||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)||Kei Kamara (SKC)|
|Don Ruiz||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)||Martin Rivero (COL)|
|Jonah Freedman||Andy Gruenebaum (CLB)||Emilio Renteria (CLB)|
|Dan Girard||Andy Gruenebaum (CLB)||Emilio Renteria (CLB)|
|Steve Clare||Chris Konopka (PHI)||Brad Davis (HOU)|
|Marc Connolly||Eddie Gaven (CLB)||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)|
|Michael Lewis||Eddie Gaven (CLB)||Danny Koevermans (TOR)|
|Frank Giase||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)|
|Scott French||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Kei Kamara (SKC)|
|Lisa Eisenmenger||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)|
|Shaun Schafer||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Nat Borchers (RSL)|
|Elliott Almond||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)|
|Gerald Barnhart||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Alvaro Saborio (RSL)|
|JP Dellacamera||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Kei Kamara (SKC)|
|Adam Jardy||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Dwayne De Rosario (DC)|
|Jose Romero||Emilio Renteria (CLB)||Alan Gordon (SJ)|
|Buzz Carrick||Fabian Espindola (RSL)||Kei Kamara (SKC)|
- 19 votes