SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC forward Raúl Ruidíaz has been voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 19 of the 2021 MLS season. The Peruvian recorded a second-half brace in Seattle’s memorable 6-2 win over archrival Portland on Sunday evening at Providence Park. This marks the second MLS Player of the Week award this season for Ruidíaz, who also won for his Week 14 performance in a 1-0 road win at Austin FC.
With the score even at 2-2 early in the second half on Sunday, Ruidíaz’s brace began in stunning fashion in the 55th minute, scoring directly on a free kick after Nicolás Lodeiro was fouled just outside the area. With both Lodeiro and Ruidíaz lining up over the ball, the Peruvian smashed a right-footed shot into the far corner over a motionless Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic. The second goal also came from a free kick, with Lodeiro’s initial shot saved before Ruidíaz pounced on the rebound to make it 4-2. With 13 goals on the season, Ruidíaz currently ranks first in the 2021 MLS Golden Boot race.
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 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
Sunday marked the first match in a stretch of three road games in seven days for Seattle, as the club travels to face FC Dallas on Wednesday, August 18 (5:30 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) and the Columbus Crew on Saturday, August 21 (2:30 p.m. PT / FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).