New York Red Bulls winger Mike Grella named MLS Player of the Week

Mike Grella

The former Leeds United forward earned Week 15's honours after scoring both of his side's goals in their 2-0 home win over the Seattle Sounders.

Mike Grella

New York Red Bulls fan favourite Mike Grella has been rewarded for his match-winning performance in Sunday night's 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders by being voted MLS Player of the Week.

The 29-year-old winger is the third Red Bulls player to claim the award this season after Bradley Wright-Phillips and Felipe Martins, earning recognition from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) after his brace led Jesse Marsch’s men to their fifth consecutive shutout win in all competitions.

He opened the scoring 18 minutes into the match at Red Bull Arena, slotting home from the centre of the box after reacting quickest when Sacha Kljestan’s curling shot rebounded off the far post.

Mike Grella

The ex-Leeds United forward then went on to double the hosts’ lead just before the hour mark, running onto Lloyd Sam’s deflected through ball before chipping Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei from 18 yards out to complete the scoring.

Grella now has six goals and three assists in 15 MLS games this season after netting nine times last term and could well earn his first All-Star Game appearance against Arsenal next month thanks to his recent impressive form.

The Long Island native has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence since joining the Red Bulls in February 2015 following a successful pre-season trial, helping his hometown club claim the 2015 Supporters’ Shield title after establishing himself as a regular starter on the left flank.

Accrington Stanley's Darren Kempson (L) and Leeds United's Mike Grella

He had previously been contemplating retirement after enduring a disappointing five-year stint in Europe with the likes of Leeds and Brentford and then failing to impress during a brief spell with the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks upon returning to the States in 2014, but there is now growing support for the former Under-20 international to earn a first senior US call-up.

Calls for his inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad have so far fallen on deaf ears, but that could change in the near future if his current run of form continues into the second half of the campaign.

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  / ReutersMandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

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