Last Saturday night, the Carolina RailHawks earned a valuable 0-0 tie on the road, led by RailHawks netminder, Akira Fitzgerald, and his strong shutout performance. For one of his best games in his young career, Fitzgerald has been named the North American Soccer League’s Player of the Week for the first weekend of league action. A weekend that saw four goalkeepers earn shutouts, it was Fitzgerald that jumped above the rest with a league-leading seven saves against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, including many gravity-defying leaps to keep the RailHawks net empty.
“Akira is very deserving of being named NASL Player of the Week,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “He made some spectacular saves that kept us in the game, eventually earning the shutout. Going into Tampa to face the reigning champions is not a simple task and Akira stepped up with a huge performance.”
The weekly award is Fitzgerald’s second recognition in as many seasons. The 25-year old Wake Forest University graduate earned his first Player of the Week award after his first NASL shutout against the Atlanta Silverbacks on August 25, 2011. Prior to joining the RailHawks in July of 2011, Fitzgerald was a member of the RailHawks U-23’s program and a member of the Demon Deacons 2007 NCAA National Championship squad.
Fitzgerald and his RailHawks teammates return to the field on Saturday, April 13th to face FC Edmonton in the Grand Opening of the New WakeMed Soccer Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm and gates will open at 5:30pm with the first 2,000 fans through the gates receiving a complimentary 12th man t-shirt courtesy of the Town of Cary and WakeMed Health and Hospitals. The match will be broadcast on live television on WRAL2 and streamed over www.CarolinaRailHawks.comand 99.9-HD3 The Ticket. Tickets for the match are available by calling the St. Lawrence Homes Box Office at 919-459-8144 or by e-mailing Tickets@CarolinaRailHawks.com.