Commerce City, Colo. – Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings was named Major League Soccer Player of the Week as voted by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 23 of the 2010 season.
Cummings is the first Rapids player to win the honor since Conor Casey was recognized for Week 21 of the 2009 season. This is Cummings’ second-ever Player of the Week award, having first won it for Week 14, 2009.
The Jamaican forward had a hand in all three of the Rapids second half goals in the 3-0 win over Chivas USA last Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. He attributes some of the success to changing his cleats at halftime of the match.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
“I didn’t think we played well in the first half, especially me,” said Cummings after the game. “My touches were bad and off a little bit. So going into the second half, I thought why not change my shoes, change my attitude and be more aggressive - take some shots and try to score some goals.”
In the 52nd minute, Cummings beat his man and ripped a hard shot at goalkeeper Zach Thornton from the right side. The Chivas keeper mishandled the shot and the ball fell to the feet of Conor Casey who quickly tapped it in for the first goal of the game.
Cummings then scored the final two goals of the game on his own. In the 68th minute, Cummings turned his mark inside out before shooting low to the far left post in a beautiful solo effort. He put the game away with second goal in the 81st minute, pushing a shot past Thornton from the left side.
The 28-year has scored eight goals this season, matching his single-season career high, which he set in 2009.
The Rapids were somewhat fortunate that Cummings was available. He had to turn down a call up from the Jamaican National Team on the weekend, since he is currently in the final stages of receiving his U.S. residency (green card) and can’t leave the country. He will join the Jamaica team this week for a friendly versus Peru on Tuesday night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Cummings is then expected to meet the rest of his Rapids teammates in New York ahead of Saturday’s match against the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena at 2 pm MT, live on KWGN-Channel 2 and nationally on TeleFutura.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week by a panel of journalist from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media. More info can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.