Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber voted MLS Player of the Month for July


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for July, MLSsoccer.com announced on Tuesday.

"It feels great but it's a team award in many ways. I'm excited that we're back in the Supporters' Shield race and thanks to all the fans for voting," Feilhaber said.

Feilhaber becomes the third different Sporting KC player to win the award in the past three months, following Dom Dwyer in May and Eric Kronberg in June. Sporting Kansas City is now the first team to claim Player of the Month honors in three consecutive months in the League's 19-year history.

The 29-year-old midfielder led Sporting KC to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings with a a 4-0-1 record in July. The 13 points gained in the month were more than any other MLS team.

After recovering from a sprained left shoulder suffered on June 6 -- and becoming a father on June 26 -- Feilhaber played every minute for Sporting Kansas City in the month of July. He earned MLS Player of the Week recognition in Week 19 and earned MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week honors for a second straight time in Week 20.

Feilhaber contributed to both goals in a 2-1 win at the Columbus Crew mid-month, setting up C.J. Sapong for the opening goal in the 42nd minute before scoring the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute.

He followed that performance with a superbly taken free kick goal against the LA Galaxy three days later to hand the four-time MLS champions their only loss in the past 11 games.

While outside of MLS play, Feilhaber's name was again on the scoresheet with an assist against reigning English Premier League Champions Manchester City in an international friendly at Sporting Park on July 23. Feilhaber flighted a perfectly placed pass for Sapong to level the score at 1-1 in the Champions Shield match-up.

Feilhaber currently leads the team with five assists and ranks second among Sporting KC players with four goals in all competition this season. In addition, he has suffered the second most fouls among all MLS players this season (55).

A member of the United States Men's National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Feilhaber is in his fourth MLS season and second with Sporting KC after being acquired in a trade from the New England Revolution in December 2012.

The Brazilian-born playmaker contributed the game-winning assists in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Eastern Conference Championship en route to the 2013 MLS Cup championship.

Today's honor is Feilhaber's first career MLS Player of the Month recognition, finishing ahead of Erick Torres (CHV), Bill Hamid (DC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY) and Gyasi Zardes (LA). Under a new format in 2014, Major League Soccer's Player of the Month is determined by the fans via online voting. Five nominees are selected each month by the editorial staff of MLSsoccer.com.