Valentin Castellanos and his NYCFC teammates celebrates one of the forward’s three goals Sunday night. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
NEW YORK – New York City FC forward Valentín Castellanos was voted the Major League Soccer player of the week for the 22nd week, the league announced Monday.
Castellanos, 22, scored the first hat-trick of his professional career to help NYCFC defeat the Red Bulls, 5-2, in the Hudson River Derby at Yankee Stadium Sunday night. The 22-year-old Argentine became the youngest player in club history to record a hat-trick and added an assist on Gary Mackay-Steven’s goal in the 42nd minute.
NYCFC took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Castellanos finished a Maxi Moralez cross into the box with a header just inside the left post (watch goal). After two Red Bulls goals, Castellanos assisted on Mackay-Stevens goal with a backwards flick in the 42nd minute to even the match at 2-2 heading into the half (watch assist).
The Argentina Under-23 international scored his second goal of the match to push NYCFC’s advantage to 4-2 in the 76th minute, this time linking with Jesús Medina and finishing with a right footed shot from inside the box into the upper right corner of goal (watch goal). Castellanos completed his hat trick to give NYCFC a 5-2 lead in the 84th minute when he converted a penalty kick (watch goal).
NYCFC concludes regular season action on MLS Decision Day Sunday when traveling to face Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
The MLS player of the week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.