Wednesday, April 11, 2012
2012 has been a year of firsts for former Reading United and Carolina Dynamo standout Andrew Wenger. He was the first selection in the MLS SuperDraft in January, by the Montreal Impact. He made his first appearance for the side in their inaugural game in Major League Soccer against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
This past Saturday, Wenger added another first to the list, scoring his first goal in Major League Soccer as Montreal defeated Toronto FC 2-1. Coming on as a second-half substitute, Wenger gave the Impact a two-goal cushion against their Canadian rivals in the 81st minute, and the goal proved important as Toronto pulled back a goal late as they tried to rally.
Wenger made eight appearances for the Dynamo in the PDL last season, scoring twice, while also appearing in the U.S. Open Cup, and is still returning to North Carolina regularly as he completes his studies at Duke University. While many projected him to be a defender in the pros, the natural ability he showed in attack for the Blue Devils certainly gives Impact coach Jesse Marsch a lot of options as to how to utilize the All-American.
While Wenger claimed his first goal in MLS, former Orange County Blue Star standout Kei Kamara continued his strong start to the season for Sporting Kansas City, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win against the LA Galaxy as his side made the first 5-0-0 start in MLS since its inaugural season in 1996.
Kamara also commanded the national spotlight at halftime of the ESPN-televised contest, which took a look at his upbringing in Sierra Leone and his journey to the United States.
Joining Kamara on the MLS Team of the Week was fellow PDL alum Chris Wingert, formerly of the Brooklyn Knights, who helped Real Salt Lake take victory against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals and his former team the Colorado Rapids. USL alum Ramiro Corrales was also selected after helping the San Jose Earthquakes to a 3-1 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Former Charleston Battery standout Osvaldo Alonso also earned a place on the MLS Team of the Week. In a week that saw his former side defeat the Richmond Kickers in their USL PRO season opener, it was fitting that Alonso would shut down one of the Kickers’ most prominent alumni, Dwayne De Rosario, as the Seattle Sounders took a point on the road against D.C. United.
Elsewhere, a former teammate of Wenger’s from Reading, Matt Hedges, made his debut in MLS and almost had his first goal as well, only for the referee’s whistle to deny his 77th-minute header against the New England Revolution. Former Jersey Express goalkeeper Ryan Meara also continued to impress for the New York Red Bulls, earning an honorable mention in the MLS Team of the Week selection.