MIAMI, Fla. (Sept 4, 2012) - Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Frankie Sanfilippo has been named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season, the league announced on Tuesday. The Rowdies’ Captain was previously named Defensive Player of the Week on May 29 and on July 23.
“I want to thank my teammates for helping me get this award,” said Sanfilippo. “Our back four, including goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, have been very sharp and it was shown on Saturday where we had our second straight shutout. We want to continue winning and hopefully we get to the end of the season in the position to have that first-round bye.”
Sanfilippo scored the second goal of the night last Saturday in the 3-0 win against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium. His goal helped the Rowdies clinch a playoff spot, as well as the Rowdies third consecutive Coastal Cup, which is awarded to the annual winner of the Tampa Bay- Fort Lauderdale series. The goal was the defender’s second of the season and third since his arrival to the Rowdies in 2011. The San Diego, California native also had an excellent defensive performance, captaining the Rowdies to their ninth shutout of the year.
“I would like to congratulate Sanfilippo on his third NASL Defensive Player of the Week award this season,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “I was very pleased with his performance on Saturday night, adding another goal to his career. He has been playing at a very consistent level throughout the season and it has been shown on the pitch, where he always looks to help his teammates.”
Sanfilippo, who has started all 24 games, is tied for first in the NASL with 2,160 minutes played. The honor marks the 10th time this season a Tampa Bay player has received a weekly NASL offensive or defensive award, the most for any team in the league in 2012.