The North American Soccer League announced on Monday that Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake has been named the NASL Player of the Month for June 2012.
Yoshitake scored four goals and added one assist in his three games played in the month of June, helping the Rowdies to victories in all three matches. In the vote conducted by 20 media members from NASL markets, San Antonio forward Pablo Campos and Ft. Lauderdale forward Mark Anderson finished tied for second, one vote behind Yoshitake.
“I am so pleased to have won this award,” said Yoshitake. “I will continue to do my best to help our team win the upcoming games. I would like to express my gratitude to my coaches, teammates, staff and all of our supporters and of course my family.”
Yoshitake returned from injury to the lineup at Minnesota on June 16 and played a major role in Tampa Bay's come-from-behind victory. The Rowdies forward tied the match with a goal right before halftime and then assisted on midfielder Keith Savage's game-winner in the 87th minute. His performance helped him earn NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors. The following week at home against San Antonio on June 23, Yoshitake again captured the NASL Offensive Player of the Week award after a two-goal performance against the Scorpions, including the game-winner on the final play of the match in second half injury time. Yoshitake’s two goals allowed the Rowdies to come back from a 2-1 deficit in the final minutes and snap San Antonio's nine-game unbeaten streak. Yoshitake closed out the month with a goal in Tampa Bay's 2-0 victory over Minnesota on June 30, the third consecutive win for the Rowdies.
“It a tremendous accolade personally for Yoshi,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “It’s great for the team likewise because it suggests that we are playing attacking, attractive football and Yoshi’s obviously a big part of that. He fully deserves all the awards that he’s got for his hard work, his efforts and his finishing.”
The award marks the first monthly honor for a Rowdies player this season. Last season, two Tampa Bay players, forwards Mike Ambersley and Aaron King, captured the NASL Player of the Month award, with Ambersley winning in August 2011 and King earning the honor in July 2011. The Rowdies have already claimed six weekly NASL awards this season, tops in the league.
The Rowdies, who currently own a four-match winning streak, return to action this Thursday, July 12 at Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. ET when they play the first of two straight road games. Tampa Bay next plays at home on Saturday, July 21 when it hosts Puerto Rico at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. For ticket information, call 813-287-1539.