MIAMI, Fla. (March 30, 2013) - Seven days from now... the race to host Soccer Bowl 2013 will be the ultimate prize on offer when the new North American Soccer League season kicks off on April 6, but players, coaches and fans will also be competing for individual awards this spring.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the new campaign, those who illuminate the NASL on game day will be recognized.
The traditional ‘Player of the Week’ award will be announced every Monday following the weekend action, but the factors considered when determining the selection will extend beyond categories that are traditionally employed for such an award. Of course, scoring a hat-trick or saving a penalty will be a mitigating factor, but the award is seeking a player who shows passion on the field, gives his all for the cause and becomes a fan favorite at his club.
The weekly winners will put themselves in pole position for the NASL Golden Ball award, won in 2012 by San Antonio Scorpions forward Pablo Campos, now of Minnesota, who was the league’s leading goal scorer, tallying 20 goals. Tampa Bay goalkeeper Jeff Attinella finished second in voting last season followed by Rowdies defender Takuya Yamada and Fort Lauderdale forward Mark Anderson.
A new award each Monday will recognize the ‘Young Player of the Week’. As developing talent comes through the ranks and players establish themselves, those aged 23 or younger will be eligible for the honor. And there is nothing to stop one young player scooping up both Player of the Week awards on a Monday.
On Tuesdays the NASL will ask fans to watch videos nominated as the most spectacular action from the weekend on www.NASL.com and to then cast their vote and determine the ‘Play of The Week’, which will be announced 24 hours later.
NASL fans will themselves be recognized every Wednesday with a ‘Fan of the Week’ award. The criteria will range from a home crowd that helps spur its team to success as the proverbial twelfth man, to perhaps a group of loyal supporters who drive several hours to watch their team in action at an away game. Or it could be an individual whose passion for a team is so undying that he or she simply has to be recognized.
Fans are encouraged to nominate fellow supporters who deserve to be recognized through NASL social media outlets www.Facebook.com/NASLofficial and Twitter @NASLofficial.
And at the end of the combined spring and fall seasons, the NASL will recognize the Coach of the Year, won in 2012 by Ricky Hill, whose Tampa Bay Rowdies also earned the 2012 NASL Fair Play Award, given annually to the team that compiles the best discipline record during the regular season.
Minnesota United goalkeeper Daryl Sattler is the man to oust from the NASL Golden Glove award, given annually to the goalkeeper with the best goals-against-average, having won the award with San Antonio last season. Fellow former Scorpions star, forward Pablo Campos, earned the 2012 NASL Golden Boot award as the league’s top scorer and also now resides in Minnesota where United hope he will repeat the 20 goals he scored in 2012.
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