Unknown Zimbabwean is US player of the week

NEW YORK — New England Revolution forward Kheli Dube was voted Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 23 of the 2009 season.

Dube notched his first career hat trick in the Revolution’s 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake to move the Revolution (8-6-6, 30 points) into a tie with Toronto FC (8-8-6, 30 points) for third place in the Eastern Conference.

The 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist took control of the New England offense as the team’s lone forward. In the 9th minute New England Revolution midfielder Mauricio Castro ran under a long ball from New England defender Jay Heaps. Castro controlled the ball on the left side and sent a low cross that Dube slotted between the legs of Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and into the back of the goal.

Dube tallied his second goal in the 29th minute. New England midfielder Michael Videira struck a low effort that Rimando saved, but Dube pounced on the rebound and tucked it in the net. In the 66th minute Dube completed his first hat trick in style. With a well timed run behind the Real Salt Lake defense, Dube was on the end of a Shalrie Joseph cross and coolly volleyed the ball past Rimando at the near post.

Dube’s three goals all came courtesy of the Zimbabwean forward’s right foot, doubling his goal total from three to six on the season. Dube became the fifth Revolution player to tally a hat trick and the first Revolution player to do so since Taylor Twellman scored three goals in a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Sept. 10, 2005.

The Revolution, now on a two-game winning streak, are 4-1-2 in their last seven games and have placed themselves right back into MLS Cup Playoffs contention. The Revolution take on the San Jose Earthquakes at home on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET (Direct Kick, Match Center).

Dube’s three-goal outburst helped him capture his first MLS Player of the Week Award. He received more votes than Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan, and New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel and Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts who finished second and tied for third in voting. The second-year player from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe has been a consistent performer for the Revolution, scoring 10 goals in 37 career appearances for the club.

The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected each week of the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at