SBI MLS Player of the Week: Khalif Alhassan


Showing off quickness, nifty dribbling and sharp passing, Portland Timbers midfielder Khalif Alhassan has quickly established himself as one of Portland's most dangerous players, and his performances in the Timbers two victories last week helped earn him SBI MLS Player of the Week honors for Week five.

Alhassan kept pressure on Chicago defenders throughout last Thursday's 4-2 win against Chicago, but really put on a show on Sunday against FC Dallas, setting up a pair of goals and toying with a normally-tough FC Dallas defense.

Alhassan edged out New York striker Luke Rodgers and D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius for this week's honors.

Who do you think was Player of the Week? Did Alhassan get your vote or did you prefer Rodgers?

Share your thoughts below.

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47 Responses to SBI MLS Player of the Week: Khalif Alhassan

  1. bbbiii says:

    Absolutely agree.

  2. kop of the pops says:

    His deft touch in the 2nd half against Dallas was breathtaking – a rare sight in MLS. Darlington Nagbe and Sal Zizzo, best of luck getting some of his minutes.

  3. jonk says:

    Good choice. I haven’t rewatched the tv version of the game, but from the stands, he was silky smooth in possession. He needs to play a little simpler in his own half, though, as he held onto it a little too long a few times. But he’s getting it as he gestured to Spencer afterward that he realized his error.

  4. Dave says:

    Ives, I typically agree with you on these types of decisions, and Alhassan was awesome against Dallas, but I’m liking Chris Pontius this week. He had two calm and collected finishes on the road, in bad weather at Toronto. It was sort of his coming out party after having a quiet start to the year following a bad injury. Then again, I’m a sucker for nice goals, and I’m a DCU fan haha

  5. lprevolution says:

    By far the best in the league this week. Will he score the next questionable penalty to knock us out of the world cup?

  6. socnow says:

    Excellent pass to set up Perlaza’s first goal Thursday and yesterday’s dance around the Dallas defense was the play of the week imo. But some of his best plays were when the Timbers didn’t score against Fire… his flick that had the keeper beat but went off the crossbar and his header that set up Purdy’s laser beam that somehow Johnson stopped.

  7. Ricky B. Free says:

    Rodger scored 2 and assited on 1. But I like how Khalif plays so Im cool.

  8. RW says:

    Totally agree. Hopefully Spencer will learn not to take him out.

  9. K-Town says:

    While watching the Portland/Dallas game I noticed that once Alhssan was subbed off the game completely changed. As much as I like Zizzo and Nagbe, I think right now Portland play much better with Hall and Alhassan on the wings.

    Against Dallas, Nagbe came on at 65′ and Zizzo around 72′. Portland looked great with Hall and Alhassan on the field, Once they came off, the high pressure defense and attacking threat going forward seemed missing. That is when Ferreira found room to operate and Dallas were inches from scoring three quick goals. Talk about a late collapse.

    Portland is gonna have some good depth at midfield with players like Zizzo, Nagbe and the new Chara coming off the bench. I just hope Spencer puts the best chemistry on the field and not necessarily the biggest names. Make them fight for the spot. On paper I would take Zizzo and Nagbe, but on performance I like Alhassan and Hall so far.

  10. JZ says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Khalif was spectacular on Sunday.

  11. abc says:

    Couldn’t agree more, he was very impressive.

  12. Chris says:

    Alhassan was good in both games but I think Jewsbury should be your pick for player of the week. He was strong defensively and was involved in many goal scoring opportunities in both games.

    (SBI-Jewsbury was actually second on my ballot in the league’s voting for player of the week.)

  13. Sean says:

    Alhassan may not score the goals but he brings another dimention to the field. Some of his crosses to switch the play were marvalous to see but the kid can score too. Check out his debut last season on a terrible field in Puerto Rico.

    link to

  14. Charlie says:

    Agreed about Alhassan but completely disagree about Hall, he hasn’t been that productive. Nagebe had some great runs against Dallas though he can be a defensive liability.

    All in all the Timbers are looking great, with the exception of Brown, Perkins and Jewsberry the team is very very young.

  15. Ben says:

    Thankfully he is a TERRIBLE penalty taker!

  16. lprevolution MT says:

    Great to see that he came up with the team. A lower division player making in the …eh hem… big time.

  17. socnow says:

    Unsung hero

  18. Brian says:

    He got a little too fancy there a couple times and turned the ball over and could have cost his team. But his footwork on the lead up to his on Wallace’s goal was Messi-esque.

  19. socnow says:

    He’s only 20 years old. If he keeps working hard and playing this way he will be in the “big time”.

  20. Joel Amah says:

    Alhassan is the man! He’s got lotta potentials & the next BIG thing to the MLS. Watch out for him, plays most likely like Ronaldinho.

  21. scott47a says:

    Wow, the comments on here are amazing and ridiculous.

    “Messi-esque”? “Plays most like Ronaldinho”?


  22. jonk says:

    Hey man, it’s the internet. But while no one actually believes him to be on the level of Messi, his slipperiness in setting up Wallace’s goal could certainly be described as “Messi-esque.”

  23. Paco says:

    insanity indeed.

    the wallace goal was him losing control of the ball and dumb luck that wallace was there. he also gave the ball up a few too many times holding onto it too long.

  24. keil says:

    watch it again, paco. after alhassan megged a defender (with his out-step no less), he still was the closest player to the ball other than wallace. if wallace hadn’t have been there, alhassan would have beat the last defender to the ball and had a clean shot on goal. how can you not be impressed by a guy who maintains his composure and possession while going through five defenders in a tight space?

  25. pdxbuckeye says:

    I am a Timbers fan and I love this selection, but after watching the Red Bulls match with Rodgers I would not hold anything against anybody awarding him this honor this week. He was amazing too.

    Like I said, Alhassan was indeed incrdible and deserving of this as well, not at all saying he was not, just saying rodgers was astonishingly good as well.

  26. Tampafan says:

    Hall provides a physical defensive presence and an ability to energetically go from box to box. These factors became readily apparent when on both Thursday and Sunday 3 goal leads turned into nailbiting situations after he got subbed out.

  27. StringerBell says:

    He looks high as hell in that pic.

  28. Kejsare says:

    This might be the video you’re looking for. Shows Alhassan scuffing a penalty competition.
    link to

  29. Tim F. says:

    Agreed. Two deserving players.

  30. Eurosnob says:

    Yes, Pontius should be in the discussion. Not only he scored 2 high quality goals on the road, but also drew a foul on a breakaway that resulted in a red card. He gets my vote.

  31. Jeremy says:

    One of the unreported stories so far about the Timbers is that after only starting one guy in the first couple of matches from last year’s Div 2 team (Pore) and going with Expansion draft and new signees the lineup that has clicked for the Timbers has clicked for the Timbers comprises 5 guys from last years team.

    As a long time Timbers fan I love that these guys are getting a chance to prove they are good enough because a lot of us thought they were.

  32. Jeremy says:

    Those players from last year who started are Gleeson, Futty, Purdy, Alhassan and Marcelin

  33. JoeW says:

    First, 3 deserving choices–I wouldn’t have a problem with any of the 3.

    Second, I personally would have given it to Pontius. 2 goals, earned a red card on a breakaway (that absent the trip would have seen him in on goal alone against Frei). Plus unlike Alhassan and Rodgers, he did his on the road.

    Still, any of these candidates is deserving.

  34. CommonSense says:

    Considering he was the U23 keeper last year (undefeated in PDL) I wouldn’t really consider Gleeson a part of last years team.

    Other than that, Marcelin has looked okay. He’s defiantely playing the destroyer role well but the second he has to shoot or pass over 15 yards I’m worried. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with Chara. Jewsbury is the rock.

    A lot of us were real high on Alhassan last year, but I’m honestly surprised at just how good he’s been this year. His skill is superb, and he’s got real passing range, but it’s his vision that surprises me for how young he is. I doubt very much MLS will be his lone employer. Kid has all the tools and a boatload of confidence (see his chip last year and attempt vs. Chicago.

    Futty is definitely better than Goldwaithe, which says little. I’d like to see more of he and Horstache before we anoint Brunner’s partner.

    Purdy. Steve Purdy. He’s not very talented, or really that fast, but he plays with a lot of heart and hustle and has been surprisingly good thus far. I would’ve loved to see Gilbert in Timbers green, but I love Purdy on the field. His energy is infectious.

  35. K-Town says:

    True, Hall isn’t that productive, and Nagbe is probably a much better player and the long term solution. However, chemistry wise, Hall is fitting in well and providing what the midfield needs at the moment. Hall and Hassan seem to complement the team better at this moment to me.

    I want to see Nagbe and Zizzo continue to sub in and get minutes. I just hope they start gellin with the rest of the team a little better. I don’t like the team shape defensively with them on the field as much.

    Perhaps just subbing out just one winger and letting either Nagbe or Zizzo come on is the best option right now. Too many new faces in the second half is screwing up the midfield.

  36. K-Town says:

    It is perfectly fine to compare one play by a player as “Messi-esque”. Many good soccer players can do what Messi does…every blue moon.

    Nothing wrong with someone getting excited because one play reminds them of Messi.

    It would only be insanity if you compare a player based on one play and say that they are as good as Messi in general. Many players have great skills. But the Great players bring it all game, every game.

  37. Kejsare says:

    That too crossed my mind recently.

    Of the starting 11 from this weekend:
    Gleeson [U-23!]
    Throw in Eddie Johnson as a sub too.

    All played at a lower level last year.

  38. Mack says:


  39. McStain says:

    Rodgers deserves it…. That New York display was one of the best performances MLS has ever seen. They looked like Barcelona playing against anybody other than Madrid in La Liga. San Jose is a good team and never saw the ball.

  40. Cobb says:

    Dont forget about Cardozo for LA….He made the team go without all their stars…

  41. Jonn says:

    TV version? I guess making the players replay the game live for you is out of the question.

  42. PseudoNEmous Commenter says:


    also, OT (and not being a corporate shill for either Groupon or the KraftEmpire) but Groupon Boston is featuring this weekend’s Revs vs KC game today. Hopefully it helps fill up the stands of the worst-attended team in the league–and this as a Revs fan.

  43. Fred says:

    Picked him up for my MFLS fantasy team last night.

  44. patricia says:

    Khalif is the real thing. He’s pure joy to watch! Amazing choice for player of the week!

  45. UpperLeft says:

    I think part of that stems from the fact that those two might not be back in full shape as well as the chemistry. The starting rosters in the next few weeks will be very interesting. Especially once Chara shows up.

  46. UpperLeft says:

    Hes getting plenty of praise at home. Don’t worry