Tampa Bay Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella has been named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday.
A Clearwater native and graduate of the University of South Florida, Attinella made four saves in Tampa Bay’s 2-0 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium for his third shutout this season and the eighth of his career. With the win, the Rowdies extended their winning streak to a season-best three straight victories, its longest this season and the longest stretch of consecutive victories for the club since it posted three straight wins from May 22-29, 2010.
"Anytime you receive recognition, it is always a good thing, especially when it comes with a win and the way that we've played,” said Attinella. “A lot of the credit also goes to the defense and the entire team. I thought they played really well this week and we were able to get the shutout.”
It marks the second time this season, and the fourth time in his career, that Attinella has received the award. Attinella captured the honor earlier this season following Tampa Bay’s 3-1 victory over Ft. Lauderdale on April 28. The honor also marks the sixth time a Tampa Bay player has been honored this season with a weekly NASL offensive or defensive award, the most for any team in the league in 2012.
"It's fantastic for the players to get accolades whether it’s individually or as a team,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “I believe the individual awards are only given on the back of all the effort of the team and Jeff has played a great part in that. His form has been excellent, and he has been assisted by the back four, who have all been excellent in recent weeks. All credit to Jeff for the focus and the quality that he's produced in recent games."
Attinella, who has started all 14 games, ranks fourth in the league with a goals against average of 1.29 and ranks first in the NASL with 62 saves.
Tampa Bay wraps up its homestand this Wednesday, July 4 with Light Up the Bay 7.4, presented by Budweiser, the annual showdown with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at 6:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium. Fans can remain after the game and watch the City of St. Petersburg's fireworks from the field at the stadium. For tickets, call 813-287-1539 or click here.