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2012 MLS Player of the Week Round 6: Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA)

Dan Kennedy celebrates shutout road win | Photo: MLSsoccer.com

The cumulative effect from Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy may have contributed to his selection this week, though it did not hurt that he made several fantastic close-range stops on the road in a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC to earn MLS Player of the Week honors.

The goalkeeper, in his fifth year with the club, has been a critical element in the team’s unexpected mid-table start in the Western Conference at 3-3 during what many expected to be a rebuilding season. With an offense that has only four goals in six games, the netminder has only allowed four on his watch, including just one on the road.

Early in the contest Kennedy was quick to come off his line to shut down a dangerous chance in the 17th minute when a quick series of combination passes put Luis Silva on his doorstep.

The hosts put the pressure on in the latter stages of the contest as they trailed. In the 70th minute Danny Koevermans put a backheel effort on target off a Joao Plata cross only to have Kennedy come off his line, this time blocking the shot with his midsection. With a minute left in the match Kennedy again denied Koevermans, making a brilliant reaction save on a point-blank effort that appeared to be a dramatic equalizer.

The University of California Santa Barbara product, who played for the local Orange County Blue Star of the USL PDL during college, was originally a Supplemental Draft pick by Chivas USA in 2005, but he opted to begin his professional career with the Puerto Rico Islanders. He was one of the top keepers in the then USL First Division in 2005-06, earning the league’s Rookie of the Year honors in 2005. He returned to California to sign with Chivas USA in 2008 after a season at Chile’s second division Municipal Iquique.

It was a wide open selection process among the 17 voters this week with Kennedy winning out with only five votes. Sporting Kansas City’s Aurelien Collin received three votes and the duo of Landon Donovan (Los Angeles) and Zach Scott (Seattle) each received two while five others were also first choice selections.

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 information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.

Match Highlights

How They Voted:

Voter First Choice Second Choice
Scott French Aurelien Collin (KC) Oswaldo Minda (CHV)
Beau Dure Aurelien Collin (KC) Landon Donovan (LA)
Orrin Schwartz Aurelien Collin (KC) Zach Scott (SEA)
Michael Lewis Blas Perez (DAL) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Frank Giase Dan Kennedy (CHV) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Steven Sandor Dan Kennedy (CHV) Nick De Leon (DC)
Jonathan Tannenwald Dan Kennedy (CHV) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
JP Dellacamera Dan Kennedy (CHV) Blas Perez (DAL)
Jose Romero Dan Kennedy (CHV) Aurelien Collin (KC)
Lisa Eisenmenger David Beckham (LA) Dax McCarty (NY)
Tom Timmermann David Junior Lopes (LA) Will Bruin (HOU)
Bobby McMahon Heath Pearce (CHV) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Don Ruiz Joe Willis (DC) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Elliott Almond Landon Donovan (LA) Blas Perez (DAL)
Shaun Schafer Landon Donovan (LA) Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Steve Clare Zach Scott (SEA) Aurelien Collin (KC)
Gerald Barnhart Zach Scott (SEA) Dan Kennedy (CHV)

-17 votes

What They Had to Say:

Jose Romero:  “Kennedy has been the biggest key to Chivas USA’s surprising success this season and made some incredible saves Saturday in Toronto. It’s become a weekly routine watching him spectacularly foil the opposition time after time.”

Previous Selections [+]

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