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SBI MLS Player of the Week: Joao Plata

JoaoPlata (USATodaySports)


Joao Plata may be the shortest player in Major League Soccer, but when he’s on his game, he can also be one of the most dangerous.

The 5-foot-2 Ecuadorian reminded us of that fact by leading Real Salt Lake’s stirring comeback against the Chicago Fire. He had a hand in three second-half goals, scoring two, including a stoppage-time game-winner in a 3-2 comeback victory. Plata’s heroics made him a strong choice for SBI MLS Player of the Week.

Plata beat out a stacked field of candidates that included Pedro Morales, Chad Marshall and Luis Robles for this weekend’s honors.

What did you think of Plata’s performance? Which player impressed you the most in MLS Week nine?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great player, but the system also fits him really, really well. He has developed a great chemistry with Saborio who played in a magnificent ball for that last Plata goal. TFC fans will lament him not being there, but they wasted his talent. Playing in a great system with the likes of Morales, Beckerman, Saborio, Gil etc. makes him that much better.

  2. What are the chances Ecuador call him for their WC squad? They don’t seem to be too deep at forward, and he is in fantastic form.

    • As an RSL fan I say HELLNO! We’ll lose Rimando, Saborio and most likely Beckerman. BTW does anyone know which mls side is going to lose the most players for this summers WC?

      • Tough question to answer a month before rosters are announced, but here’s a list to get you started:

        Unfortunately, that list does not distinguish between current and former national team players (e.g., Robbie Findley for RSL is listed but will not be seen on a World Cup squad).

        Trying to sift through only the active players I counted:

        3 to 5 – RSL players with some chance to go: Rimando, Gil (long shot), Beckerman, Plata (??), and Saborio.

        4 or 5 – Columbus: Parkhurst, Arrieta, Francis, González, and Oduro. (I’m not sure because I haven’t followed all of these guys on their national teams.)

        4 – Toronto: Bradley, Júlio César, Defoe (long shot), Dike (?)

        3 – SKC: Besler, Zusi, and Benny (long shot).

        3 – Seattle: Dempsey, Evans, and Yedlin (long shot)—add Marshall if you want a super-duper long shot 🙂

        3 – San Jose: Wondo, Goodson, and Bernardez.

        I didn’t see any other MLS teams that had more than 1-2 possible World Cup players.

      • A related question is which MLS side will suffer the most from losing those players; i.e., is Rimando more important to RSL than Dempsey is to Seattle? etc.

  3. Once again, the Fire remind us how inept they are. I wish their was relegation in MLS, maybe then the owners would actually have to go out and spend some money.

    • Really? Weak relegation argument. If there was relegation (so teams 17th to 19th place) the last time the Fire was that low was the 2004 season when there were 10 teams in the league. They would be considered mid table team by today’s standards.


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