|CONCACAF Player of the Week |
Gio dos Santos made a quiet return to Villarreal in a scoreless Copa del Rey draw against Real Sociedad last week. Real Sociedad and countryman Carlos Vela couldn't keep dos Santos quiet after he ravaged the San Sebastian outfit for two goals and two assists in a 5-1 Liga beatdown Monday.
With Villarreal teammate Javier Aquino also in the lineup, there's little doubt Mexico manager Miguel Herrera was tuned in as dos Santos tormented the Sociedad back line as a floating striker. Sociedad's efforts were futile as dos Santos scored two first-half goals, and led the Yellow Submarine in sublime passing moves, setting up a pair of Ikechukwu Ulche goals as well. Aqunio also showed well on the wing in the match, and while dos Santos had a disappointing 2013 with El Tri, Herrera must've had a few ideas sparked seeing him excel further up top with Aquino cutting in from the right. Dos Santos became the first Villarreal player to be involved in four goals in a Liga match, and Spanish daily Marca gave him a 9/10 rating.
Dos Santos taking over a match, and winning this award, is not much of a surprise. He's done this in the past, with his showings often the only bright spot last season for relegated Mallorca. The true testament to dos Santos' World Cup qualifications won't be winning this week, but rather winning multiple awards throughout the spring - a sign that the consistency that has so often eluded the talented 24-year-old has finally arrived. He's off to a flying start.
|Congratulations to Giovani dos Santos, Goal's fifth CONCACAF Player of the Week winner! |
Carlos Pena - Leon
"On Saturday, Pena gave a complete demonstration of why he is currently in pole position to be Mexico’s breakout star of 2014. It took the central midfielder just three minutes to open the scoring for Leon in its 3-1 win against Atlas. Pena somehow dug out a chipped shot from outside the penalty area and sent it sailing over Federico Vilar and into the top corner of the net. It was a sublime piece of skill from a player who is improving all the time." - Goal USA's Tom Marshall
Jozy Altidore - Sunderland
Javier Gandolfi - Tijuana
If Gandolfi's showing Friday had sang, it would've been a Taylor Swift song. With former manager Antonio Mohamed on the opposite team's bench (and former defensive partner Pablo Aguilar on the opposite team's books), the center back showed he has moved on from the past and is better than ever, steering Xolos to a 1-0 win against America in an impressive defensive showing.
Tim Howard - Everton
Howard made three saves en route to a 2-0 win against Norwich City at Goodison Park. It was his 10th clean sheet of the year, the high mark in the Premier League. With the World Cup looming, Howard isn't picking a bad time to get hot.