CHICAGO (July 3, 2017) – Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic has been voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for week 18 of the 2017 MLS season. This is the second consecutive week a Fire player has garnered Player of the Week honors. Nikolic’s recognition, the second of the season for the Hungarian international, follows David Accam’s in week 17.
Nikolic helped extend Chicago’s unbeaten streak to 10 matches, including wins in four straight, with two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Park. On the season, the Serbian-born Designated Player has a league-leading 16 goals to go along with three assists. With the victory, Chicago now sits in first place in both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with 37 points and a 9-0-1 record at home (11-3-4 overall record).
A member of Hungary’s National Team squad at Euro 2016, Nikolic kicked things off quickly for Chicago on Saturday, putting the Fire ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 14 minute. Defender Matt Polster sent a ball from the right corner of the penalty area to the middle of the box where an eager Nikolic fired home a right-footed strike to give the Fire the early advantage.
Minutes later, Nikolic would double the Chicago lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute when he received a through ball from teammate Michael de Leeuw, fighting off a defender in the center of the box and sending a shot just off the right post and into goal. Nikolic would cap his performance with a beautiful display of give-and-go play, providing an assist for de Leeuw’s 84th minute goal to secure a 4-0 Chicago lead. With the helper, Nikolic has 19 combined goals and assists, the highest total in MLS this season.
In addition to being named Player of the Week twice this season, Nikolic was named Player of the Month for May, courtesy of his six goals and one assist on the month.
The Chicago Fire return to action on Wednesday, July 5 when it travels to take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park at 9:30 p.m. CT (CSN/Univision Chicago 1200AM).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.