SBI MLS Player of the Week: Kalif Alhassan

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

The Portland Timbers kicked off their second season in style, and right winger Kalif Alhassan had as much to do with that as anybody.

Alhassan had a goal and an assist in the Timbers' 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union Monday night to take home the season's first SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

Alhassan, who created problems for new Union left back Porfirio Lopez most of the night, assisted on the game-winning goal, sending in a perfect cross for Designated Player Kris Boyd to head past Zac MacMath. He then iced the game with a deft chip from the right that snuck inside the far post. Regardless of whether he was looking to cross or score on the play, it likely would have led to a goal and a second assist even if it hadn't been on frame, as rookie centerback Andrew Jean-Baptiste was waiting unmarked by the far post for what would've been a simple header.

Alhassan edged out a group of candidates who stood out during Week 1, including Vancouver's Sebastien Le Toux, FC Dallas' Ricardo Villar and Houston's Andre Hainault.

What did you think of Alhassan's performance? Who was your player of the week?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to SBI MLS Player of the Week: Kalif Alhassan

  1. jonk says:

    Great game for Kalif. He put on the And1 show in the first half and then put those moves to practical use in the 2nd. Just needs to learn when to rein it in as he had some near-costly turnovers.

  2. Ecualung says:

    Kosuke Kimura should also be in the conversation for best player of Week 1.

  3. 2tone says:

    Luis Gil stood out to me. 18 years old and has the composure of a 25 year old. Great technical skill, didn’t seemed phased by his counter parts in midfield from LA i.e. Beckham and Sarvas. Really impressed with his development and looks poised for a break out season. If Hertha Berlin will not release Morales for the Olympic Qualifying tournament; I would love for Gil to be the 20th player selected, but my brain says it will be Tony Taylor.

  4. jonk says:

    But would Porter try and find a similar player to Morales or just go with who you think is the next best player not on the team? My point being that obviously Gil and Taylor are nowhere near the same player as Morales and given that Morales was a frequent starter you’d think Porter would want depth at that position.

  5. snakeo says:

    Kalif brought the excitement, that is for sure. In the conversation among top performers I might include Ned Grabavoy, who should get some acknowledgment for his quiet, but essential, part of RSL’s victory over LA.

  6. Rich in DC says:

    His pace and change of pace is ridculous…

  7. BBB says:

    +1 – I was thinking the same all game.

  8. sean says:

    Kalif is on my MLS fantasy team and made me lots of points. He’s the real deal. Last season He assisted in lots of goals but could not find the net. He made imature mistakes last season but He is playing more team now. I saw him score from 35 yards out against the Purto Rico Islanders a few years ago. Vidoe on youtube. That was no cross.

  9. jmac says:

    He had a great goal in the preseason tournament in Portland where he took a short corner and then put a curling shot into the far upper corner of the goal. Keeper didn’t have a chance. He also had a very similar assist on Boyd’s preseason goal against swedish team AIK.

  10. Ricky says:

    It was a shot. Watch it again, he was going far post and aiming for the towel.

  11. Bakasama says:

    Jmac the guy who hit the ball to Boyd in the AIK game was Perlaza but Perlaza got the ball from Alhassan.

  12. West of the Cascades says:

    And it was particularly impressive to see his cuts and ballhandling in the rain on a pitch that had been poured on all day. I was disappointed that the Timbers didn’t put in natural grass last year during the stadium remodel, but I’m starting to warm up to this turf — it’s clearly been developed and installed to give true footing even in typical wet Portland spring and late fall conditions.

    RCTID!!

  13. beachbum says:

    impressive game for him, and a very fun and entertaing 2nd half in general to that game after an ugly opening 45

  14. 2tone says:

    Well, Tony Taylor was added so there is your answer.

  15. betamale says:

    glad I have him on my fantasy team!

  16. Since 82 says:

    Kalif, Kalif, put your hands up!