PLAYER OF THE WEEK | Miami FC Forward Jaime Chávez

Veteran goalscorer nets first hat trick of professional career in 3-3 draw
NASL Staff (@naslofficial} | Sep 11, 2017

Miami FC forward Jaime Chávez has owned the NASL Fall Season so far. The veteran put an exclamation point on that statement last Wednesday, scoring for a fifth straight game and netting a hat trick in his club’s 3-3 draw against the New York Cosmos. The three-goal performance earned Chávez the league’s Player of the Week award for Week 7.  

A native of the Los Angeles area, Chávez scored in the 44th, 63rd, and 90th minutes in a wild, back-and-forth affair at Riccardo Silva Stadium. The hat trick brought the 30-year-old forward’s goal total to eight in 2017. Seven of Chávez’s eight goals have come in the last five games.

In a game that aired live on beIN SPORTS USA and beIN SPORTS En Español on Wednesday night, the Cosmos pulled ahead early through forward Bledi Bardic. Chávez brought the score level just before halftime, volleying home a flicked header from teammate Rhett Bernstein.

The 6-foot-1 forward fired Miami into the lead in the 63rd minute, capitalizing on a giveaway by New York’s Javi Márquez to tally his second goal of the game. After Cosmos forward Pablo Vranjicán evened the score at 2-2, Chávez completed his hat trick just before the game went into stoppage time, getting on the end of a pass from Blake Smith and blasting a shot past Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck.

While the Cosmos would end up stealing a point at the end through a goal from Márquez, Chávez’s efforts helped league-leading Miami extend its unbeaten streak to six games and further distance itself from others in the table. 

The exceptional form of the veteran forward won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the NASL. Chávez now has 29 league goals in 99 appearances since 2014. He has proved to be an invaluable asset for Alessandro Nesta, who has had to deal with a few injuries to his star goalscorers from the Spring Season, Stéfano Pinho and Vincenzo Rennella.  

Chávez is now tied for third in the NASL in goals this year and will look to extend his scoring streak to six games when the club meets the San Francisco Deltas on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Riccardo Silva Stadium, and the game can be seen live on ESPN3 (U.S.) and (Canada).

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