MIAMI, Fla. (April 22, 2013) – Scoring two goals including the game-winner in a seven-goal thriller has earned Atlanta Silverbacks striker Pedro Mendes the NASL Player of the Week award.
With his side trailing 3-1 away to the defending NASL champion Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Brazilian caught Rowdies keeper Andrew Fontein off his line and blasted a superb 35-yard finish into the home net to pull Atlanta within a goal of tying the contest.
Then with the game level at 3-3, Mendes powered home a finish from the edge of the penalty area with 70 minutes played to claim victory for the Silverbacks. The second straight win lifted Atlanta to second place in the NASL standings with the leagues only one hundred percent record and a game in hand over leaders Carolina.
Follow Pablo Mendes on Twitter @PFMendes10
“It is always nice when the league recognizes one of our players,” said Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes. “Pedro showed good vision and great technique to score two big goals for us this weekend, so I give full credit to him and his teammates for getting the job done against the defending champions.”
Mendes, 22, joined the Silverbacks from the Rhode Island Reds of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) midway through the 2012 season and injected pace and creativity into the Silverbacks lineup, scoring four goals in eight games. Mendes spent time with Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda at Cal FC, an amateur club that dispatched a pair of professional teams to make it all the way to the fourth round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized by the league,” said Mendes. “I’ve been working really hard in training, so having it pay off in such a big way on Saturday night feels really good.”
Mendes scored twice in a game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last season and took home NASL Player of the Week honors for that performance, making this week’s award the second of his young career.
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|