Interesting what a national TV broadcast can do to lift the profile of certain players. The Rapids earned their first win of the year on Saturday, defeating Real Salt Lake 1-0 in a match shown nationwide on the NBC Sports Network.
The key revelation to many was goalkeeper Clint Irwin (@clintirwin), whom Rapids fans have watched keep the team in games since he made his debut last month. Irwin's stop of Alvaro Saborio's penalty kick - as well as two other big saves that secured his and the team's first shutout and win of the year - made the 24-year-old goalkeeper a much talked about player this week.
- Nominee for MLS Save of the Week
- #2 among all MLS players on the weekly Castrol Index
- MLS Team of the Week (also named in Week 4)
- North American Soccer Reporters nominee for MLS Player of the Week
- Highlighted by NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk.com
- MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager Dream Team
- Guest on Sirius XM Sports show with JP Dellecamara and Grant Wahl
And he wasn't alone in getting attention. SuperDraft picks Dillon Powers (@powerhour5) and Deshorn Brown (@Strika9) also received some love. National soccer outlet SoccerByIves.net named Powers its Rookie of the Week for the second straight week. Powers and Brown are also listed #2 and #3 respectively in this week's MLSSoccer.com Rookie Rankings. Defender Marvell Wynne was also named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week.
It should be noted that Irwin is not eligible for MLS rookie honors since he's had previous pro experience, albeit in lower divisions. Per MLS rules, rookies are first-year players with no prior professional experience. If Irwin continues his success, he would be eligible for the MLS Newcomer of the Year honors, reserved for non-rookies in their first year in MLS.