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Lappalainen Is MLS Player of The Week

The first debutante to collect the award since Zlatan

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact
Lassi Lappalainen - MLS Player of the Week (week 21)
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Impact’s Lassi Lappalainen has been voted MLS Player of the Week for week 21.

The Finn’s debut two-goal salvo was enough to convince the voting panel and also the twitter fan vote which accounts for 25% of the decision.

He’s in good company. The last player to win the award while making his debut was none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 20-year-old took less than 4 minutes to open his MLS account, running onto a superlative slipped pass from Zachary Brault-Guillard, before leaving Gaddis for dead and rounding Blake to put the Impact ahead against Conference leaders, Philadelphia.

His second goal came within a minute of the restart. Intercepting a ball in his own half and latching onto a return from Piatti, his pace was too much for the Union defence. Cutting in from the left he oozed composure slotting the ball between Blake and the post to put his team 3-0 in front.

His performance was praised afterwards by coach, Remi Garde, who acknowledged the youngster’s goalscoring feats but chose to highlight how hard Lappalainen had worked for the team, particularly in protecting the left-hand channel in front of Daniel Lovitz and also noting how well he combined with team-mates in a pulsating display by the team.

The MLS Player of the week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75% of the vote, while a twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25% of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.