FC Tampa Bay forward Mike Ambersley and midfielder Pascal Millien have been named to the North American Soccer League Best XI Team for 2011.
Ambersley finished the regular season ranked tied for third in the NASL with a team-high 11 goals and third in the league with a team-best seven assists in 2011. He also led FC Tampa Bay in both points (29) and minutes (2,275) this season. His 27 games played and 25 games started both tied for the team lead.
“I look at it as a team honor and I have had a great group of teammates this year,” said Ambersley. “I am happy to be here with FC Tampa Bay. We have a great organization and it’s fun to play for a winner. We have a great locker room. It’s all about winning and when you win, everything takes care of itself when it comes to individual awards and team accolades.”
Millien totaled five assists in 2011 to tie for fifth in the NASL and tied for second on the club. He added four goals to rank tied for third on the team and played in 22 matches with 18 starts.
“I am blessed and humbled to be honored with this award,” said Millien. “I want to thank our team, the coaching staff and the entire organization. We have the playoffs coming up and we are excited for the opportunity ahead of us as a team.”
FC Tampa Bay, the third seed in the NASL Playoffs, hosts its first-ever postseason match this Saturday, October 1 at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m. against NSC Minnesota in a one-game single-elimination NASL quarterfinal. Fort Lauderdale will face FC Edmonton in the other quarterfinal. The winners of both matches advance to the NASL semifinals, which begin the following weekend.
2011 NASL Best XI
Forwards: Etienne Barbara (Carolina), Mike Ambersley (FC Tampa Bay)
Midfielders: David Foley (Puerto Rico), Shaun Saiko (FC Edmonton), Matt Watson (Carolina), Pascal Millien (FC Tampa Bay)
Defenders: Hassoum Camara (Montreal), Kupono Low (Carolina), Lance Laing (Ft. Lauderdale), Toni Stahl (Ft. Lauderdale)
Goalkeeper: Brad Knighton (Carolina)