Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Conor Casey

Photo: Paul Rudderow

As noted in this space previously, it’s occasionally difficult to choose a PSP Player of the Week. Once in a while, that’s because there have been a surfeit of strong performances. More often, it’s because there’s been a dearth of them. Sometimes, though, choosing the POTW is easy, because there’s only one name that makes sense. Such is the case this week.

Playing at home against a very young—and bottom of the league—DC United side, the Union struggled at first to find a rhythm. The Union’s habit of ceding possession and counter-attacking wasn’t producing much. Neither team was able to create scoring opportunities, and it seemed like the Union might have been headed for a dreary home draw. Or, worse, a sucker-punch loss due to an individual error, set piece, or Dwayne De Rosario’s dancing throwing off the defense.

With Jack McInerney continuing to misfire, and Sébastien Le Toux looking frustrated by miscommunications with Fabinho, there was only one man who could put the team on his shoulders. Luckily for the Union, Conor Casey’s shoulders are broad. In the 35th minute, a Sheanon Williams cross from the right was met at the near post by Le Toux. He either misplayed his header or nodded it down with unusual precision, as the ball fell straight to Casey’s feet from a tight angle. Casey did well to get the ball out from beneath him and even better to poke it past Bill Hamid in the DC goal with the toe of his right foot.

The goal enlivened the Union, and Casey would score a second just 15 minutes into the second half. Le Toux was again involved in the build-up, eventually feeding an overlapping Fabinho on the left. Fabinho’s first touch cross was pin-point, clearing the defense and finding Casey at the back post. His shinned shot just squeaked beneath Hamid, and a game that had looked tight after half an hour was over with half an hour to go.

Casey now has nine goals on the season (and Le Toux extended his league-leading assist total to 12), which is his best total since 2010, with ten games to go. Scoring drought or no, McInerney can have no better partner, as the two are among the most potent in the league. And even if Jack doesn’t find his scoring boots for a few more games, Casey is ready to carry the load on his own. Surely, Casey is the front-runner for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year. Whether or not he wins that award, he’s definitely PSP’s Player of the Week.

Honorable mention: Harrisburg’s Lucky Mkosana scored a hat trick in the City Islanders’ 3-1 win over VSI Tampa Bay on Saturday to maintain the team’s hold on third place after a disappointing midweek loss to Charlotte. Mkosana now has 13 goals on the season—with ten of those goals happening in the last seven games, including another hat trick—with one game to go before the start of post season play.

2 Comments

  1. You should fix that to “Connor Casey is the front runner for ‘guy who should be comeback player of the year but will somehow get passed over for Robbie Rogers because that’s what MLS wants.'”

    • No, I don’t think Rogers will win that award. Not when Mike Magee is the favorite to win MVP. A Rogers win would reap backlash because it would be exactly like what you just said.

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