Orlando City midfielder and captain Kaká was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 5 of the 2016 season. The award is selected by a panel of journalists representing print, television, radio, and online media.
Kaká is the second Orlando City player to win MLS Player of the Week honors, with Cyle Larin picking up the award last season after a hat trick at New York City FC last July.
The Brazilian returned from a preseason thigh injury to make his season debut Sunday night against the Portland Timbers, and kicked off his second campaign in MLS with a bang. He picked up a pair of assists along with his first goal of the season, helping the Lions to a 4-1 victory over the defending champions at the Citrus Bowl.
Kaká, who notched his 10th goal in MLS after collecting nine with seven assists last season, scored his first goal for Orlando City since July 4 against Real Salt Lake last season in the 48th minute, blasting a shot past Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey to put his side up 3-0 at the time.
He notched the first of his two assists in the 13th minute when a perfectly placed free kick from roughly 40 yards out found the head of Seb Hines, who knocked it home to put the hosts on the board first. The captain earned his second helper in the 32nd minute, setting up Brek Shea on a nifty give-and-go. The Lions' left back quickly rocketed a Goal of the Year candidate past Kwarasey to double Orlando City's lead.
You could also make the argument to give Kaká a third assist in the match, when in the 76th minute he gave the ball to Kevin Molino after Orlando City was awarded a penalty kick, instead of taking it himself, in an effort to get the Trinidadian his first career MLS goal -- something the Lions had been trying to do for over 12 months. The move showed off the Brazilian's absolute class and team-first attitude.
This is Kaká's first MLS Player of the Week award, but he's no stranger to league honors. He was MLS All-Star captain for last year's AT&T MLS All-Star game, winning game MVP honors with a goal and an assist against Tottenham Hotspur. He was voted to the MLS Team of the Week four times during his first season in the league, in weeks 1, 4, 11 and 30).
Leading up to the season, Kaká talked about wanting to improve on the stats that he posted last season. He's off to a good start in 2016.