NEW YORK - Seattle Sounders FC defender Jeff Parke was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 10 of the 2011 MLS season. Parke headed home the game-winning goal in stoppage time to lift his team over Sporting Kansas City, 1-0.
Parke is the first defender to win this award since Chad Marshall in Week 22 of the 2009 season, and the first Sounders FC player to win the award since Steve Zakuani in Week 29 of 2010. Parke narrowly edged out Philadelphia striker Carlos Ruiz for this week's honor.
With the two clubs knotted in a scoreless draw at a rain-soaked Qwest Field and mere seconds of stoppage time remaining, Seattle's Tyson Wahl served a high, curling ball that Parke rose to thump past Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Parke had a solid game at the back, making well-timed tackles, heading clearances, and blocking several shots to help his team shut out a Sporting Kansas City side that regained the services of Designated Player Omar Bravo. The goal was Parke's first since June 12, 2004.
The Sounders beat Sporting KC in similar fashion last year at Qwest when midfielder Mike Fucito scored in the 92nd minute to propel the Sounders to a 1-0 victory.
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.