Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov has won the North American Soccer League Player of the Month award for September, which is voted for by media who regularly cover the NASL. In another close contest for the award, Hristov edged out the New York Cosmos’ Spanish midfielder Marcos Senna by a single vote.
The Bulgarian native has played a key role for the Rowdies offense, which led them to an unbeaten streak that reached 10 matches during September, while scoring four goals and adding an assist. He has been named to the NASL Team of the Week three times.
"It's great to be recognized by the NASL, but I must first thank my teammates for their efforts on the field,” said Hristov. “If it wasn't for their hard work, we would have never achieved the results of this past month. I also want to recognize our head coach Ricky Hill as he always is trying to show me ways I can improve as a player. One last mention goes to our fans that support us everywhere we go. It's great to have their support."
Hristov signed with Tampa Bay this past March after spending nearly a decade playing for teams in Bulgaria, Poland and Israel, where he scored 88 goals in 233 games. In Bulgaria, the native of Plovdiv spend time with PFC Lokomotiv Sofia (2012); PFC Slavia Sofia (2010-2012); PFC Levski Sofia (2008-2010), where he won the national championship and competed in the UEFA Europa League; PFC Botev Plovdiv (2007-2008), where he was league football of the year; and FC Maritsa Plovdiv (2002-2007). Hristov has also seen action with FC Ashdod of Israel (2011) and Polish club Wisla Kraków (2010).
“Congratulations to Georgi for this accolade,” said Rowdies coach Hill. “I am very pleased to have him on our team, as week after week he performs at a consistent level. The way he plays demonstrates that his experience and talent that he gained by playing in Europe and I am sure everyone in the Rowdies organization is pleased to have Georgi on this team.”
Hristov currently has 12 tallies on the year and is tied for first place in the NASL Golden Boot race along with Hans Denissen of San Antonio Scorpions & Brian Shriver of Carolina RailHawks. The Bulgarian recently scored twice at home in the 3-1 victory over the NASL Spring Season Champion Atlanta Silverbacks, while he notching one in the 3-2 win against visiting RailHawks and added another in the 4-3 loss to league-leaders New York Cosmos.
Previous winners of the NASL Player of the Month award in 2013 were Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Luke Mulholland (April) Minnesota United FC forward Simone Bracalello (May), San Antonio Scorpions Striker Hans Denissen (June) and FC Edmonton midfielder Chris Nurse (August).
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