Minnesota United FC forward Darwin Quintero was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 19th week of the 2018 MLS season.
Minnesota defeated Toronto FC 4-3 at TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday, with Quintero scoring the first hat trick in club history to lift the Loons over the defending champions. Starting 13 games this regular season, Quintero leads the team with six goals to go along with two assists. Minnesota sits ninth in the Western Conference with 19 points (6-11-1 overall record).
The Colombia National Team forward put Minnesota on the board in the eighth minute when he took a shot from the top of the box that split two Toronto defenders. Quintero created space, and using the outside of his right foot, sent the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Quintero scored his second of the day in the 52nd minute to give the Loons a comfortable 3-1 lead, chipping the ball from 18 yards out at the top right corner of the box over Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Minutes later, it was Quintero who scored again to grab the first hat trick in Minnesota United FC history. After fighting off a tackle, Quintero dribbled from midfield and sent a long-range chip shot over the goalkeeper to give Minnesota a 4-1 lead in the 57th minute.
Minnesota United FC returns to action on Saturday, July 14 when hosting Real Salt Lake at TCF Bank Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada. Learn more about the NASR and apply to join at https://www.facebook.com/soccerreporters/.