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CJ Sapong nominated for Etihad Player of the Month

After a difficult start to the season, Philadelphia Union striker CJ Sapong is redeeming himself on the pitch.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It's not been an easy season for CJ Sapong. In the first game of the season against the Colorado Rapids, the tall, lanky forward was upended by Bobby Burling toward the end of the first half, resulting in a concussion and a zygomatic fracture - he literally broke his face. He missed three matches, and came back wearing a protective face shield. After putting together a decent April (getting a goal and an assist in mostly a substitute role), Sapong was arrested for driving under the influence and reckless driving. He missed three more matches while in a league-mandated rehab in California.

Sapong returned to action on May 24, and seemed more determined and focused than ever before. He scored a goal in a substitute appearance, but it was June where he caught fire. Sapong scored four goals in four straight games, tying a club record. He's also shouldered the load of the oft-injured Fernando Aristeguieta, who has been out for four straight matches with a left fibula contusion.

Sapong's line for the month is stellar: four goals and an assist in five matches. He is deservedly up for Etihad Player of the Month, facing off against Fanendo Adi of the Portland Timbers, David Ousted of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Matias Perez Garcia of the San Jose Earthquakes, and Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto FC. You can vote once a day from multiple devices, and voting runs through 3:00 AM tomorrow morning Eastern Time. Vote early, vote often.