MIAMI, Fla. (September 6, 2012) – Puerto Rico Islanders goalkeeper Richard Martin has been named the North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Month for August 2012, the league announced Wednesday. Martin conceded just two goals in four NASL games, including a pair of shutouts and saving a penalty to help the Islanders overcome offensive woes during August.
The NASL Player of the Month award is voted on by 20 members of the media throughout North America. Martin edged out Carolina’s Nick Zimmerman by two votes, to become the first Puerto Rico Islanders' player to receive the monthly honor. San Antonio's Pablo Campos finished third in the balloting.
“It’s such a privilege to be named NASL player of the Month, but I couldn’t have done it without all my team mates. This is a truly special group of guys and this award just goes to show what a great job we have been doing on defense, not just the backline but the entire team,” said Martin.
This season, Martin has maintained a 1.00 Goals-Against-Average (GAA), while boasting ten clean sheets. The English keeper is also third in the league with 88 saves and has been a key figure throughout the NASL season and in continental play for the Islanders.
Martin began his career in his native England with Brighton & Hove Albion and spent time on loan with British sides Kingstonian, Dorchester Town and Folkstone, before signing with Premier League side Manchester City in 2007. He was with the Blues for two seasons before spending some time with Havant & Waterlooville, Crawley Town and Yeovil Town.
In 2011, Martin was brought to Puerto Rico where he competed with Cody Laurendi to become the primary backup to Ray Burse for the season. Following the departure of Burse to the Carolina RailHawks, Martin was named the starting goalkeeper for the Islanders at the beginning of the 2012 season.
“Richard has done a great job for us in goal this year; I think the experience that he brings over from England has helped us a lot in the locker room. He has also continued the great tradition of goalkeepers here at the Puerto Rico Islanders, we all know what Bill Gaudette and Josh Saunders did after their time on the Island, and with Richard the sky is the limit,” said Head Coach Adrian Whitbread.
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