For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.
It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that our defensive pick of the week comes from Los Angeles FC‘s stunning away win over Seattle Sounders. They become just the second expansion side to win their first away game in Major League Soccer history.
LAFC’s 1-0 saw an impressive collective performance. They were clean and simple on the ball and defended well when they didn’t have possession, as well as welcoming a little bit of good fortune at times.
A standout performance at the heart of the LAFC defence came from Lauren Ciman. The 2015 Defender of the Year has plenty of MLS experience under his belt and he remained calm at all times of the game. He made crucial blocks and chose to bring the backline up to press at the right time, while marshalling them to drop back and clear their lines when it was necessary.
How did Laurent Ciman perform in numbers?
Ciman played the full 90 minutes as you’d expect from a centre half. In that time he made four interceptions to stop attacks, blocked two shots including a close-range effort, made six clearances and held a positive 75% pass accuracy.
His crucial block from a goal-bound Harry Shipp kept the score at 1-0 in the first half, which was a game-changing phase of play. Had Seattle scored at that point to level things it could have swung the momentum out of LAFC’s favour.
Massive play by Laurent Ciman!!! Fantastic sliding block on Harry Ship's shot to save a near-certain goal. Superb by #LAFC's first ever captain. #Sounders #SEAvLAFC #MLS #MLSisBack 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/oqWO7IGZZb
— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) March 4, 2018
Ciman’s performance was exactly what was needed from him as a captain and the LAFC faithful will be hoping to see that continue on a weekly basis. A thoroughly good, history making weekend for the MLS new comers and one for the fans to remember.