Sounders FC forward Raúl Ruidíaz has been voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 14 of the 2021 MLS season. The Peruvian scored the game-winning goal in Seattle’s 1-0 win Thursday evening over Austin FC at Q2 Stadium. After coming on as a second-half substitute, Ruidíaz scored the winner for Seattle in dramatic fashion, giving him sole possession of first place in the 2021 MLS Golden Boot race.
In the 67th minute, after pouncing on mis-clearance just inside of midfield, Ruidíaz caught Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver off his line and smashed an arching shot from 40 yards away that soared just over Stuver’s outstretched arms and into the net. The Peruvian now has 53 goals in 78 MLS appearances (including postseason) since joining Sounders FC in the 2018 summer transfer window.
The goal capped an impressive road win for the Rave Green, who became the first team in MLS history to field five teenagers in the starting XI, with a sixth coming on a substitute in second-half stoppage time. Brian Schmetzer’s lineup on Thursday was the second-youngest by average age for a game in MLS history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
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. After playing two road matches inside five days, Seattle returns to the Emerald City in preparation for a critical home match on Sunday, July 25.
Brian Schmetzer’s side closes its three-match week with a contest versus Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, pitting the top two sides in the Western Conference against one another on the shores of Puget Sound. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. PT at Lumen Field (JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).