HARRISON, NJ- New York Red Bulls forward Luke Rodgers was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 5 of the 2011 MLS season. Rodgers made the most of his first MLS start at Red Bull Arena, tallying two goals and an assist in the Red Bulls’ 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night.
Rodgers gave the Red Bulls a lead in just the second minute of play. Rafa Marquez swung in a corner kick that was flicked to Dane Richards, who redirected it into the six-yard box. With a quick reaction, Rodgers headed it into the back of the net. In the 15th minute, forward Thierry Henry stole the ball from defender Ramiro Corrales near the right corner of the box. He took a touch and sent a diagonal pass across the face of the goal just out of goalkeeper Jon Busch’s reach. Rodgers’ well-timed run put him in perfect position to double the Red Bulls’ advantage.
WATCH: Rodgers doubles New York's lead off an Henry assist
In the second half, Rodgers went from goal-scorer to facilitator in the 87th minute, when he fed Henry for his first goal of the season. Rodgers paused with the ball just outside the right corner of the area and then chipped a cross to the far post, where Henry buried it with a diving header into the side netting.
WATCH: Henry puts the game away with assist from Rodgers
Rodgers joined the Red Bulls after signing on Jan. 28, 2011 from English League One side, Notts County. The 29-year-old has also played for Yeovil Town, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town throughout his career.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.