Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Frankie Sanfilippo has been named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, the league announced on Monday.
Sanfilippo, a San Diego native and the Rowdies team captain, led Tampa Bay to its fourth consecutive victory at home and its sixth win in seven games overall with a 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico last Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. Sanfilippo scored the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute and also helped Tampa Bay post its second straight shutout and fifth this season. Tampa Bay has not allowed a goal in more than 225 minutes, with its last goal allowed coming in the 45th minute at Minnesota on July 12.
“This is a special honor and I thank my teammates, especially the back line and our goalkeeper Jeff Attinella,” said Sanfilippo. “We are playing really well right now and it was a huge win over the weekend. It was a great performance from everyone and I was thrilled to score my first goal of the year as well.”
Sanfilippo has started 43 matches for Tampa Bay over the last two seasons, including all 18 games in 2012. He has played in all 1,620 minutes this season, tied for most in the league. The honor marks the eighth time a Tampa Bay player has received a weekly NASL offensive or defensive award, the most for any team in the league in 2012. Sanfilippo also claimed the award on May 29 after the team’s shutout of Minnesota on May 25.
Tampa Bay has moved into second place in the NASL standings, just two points behind league leaders San Antonio. The Rowdies host FC Edmonton this Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg, presented by Lotto. For tickets, call 813-287-1539 or click here.