Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Frankie Sanfilippo has been named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season, the league announced on Tuesday. Sanfilippo was previously named Defensive Player of the Week on May 29 and July 23, where he scored the game-winning goal against Puerto Rico in the 72nd minute.
“I want to thank my teammates for helping me get this award,” said Sanfilippo. “Our back four, including goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, have been very sharp and it was shown on Saturday where we had our second straight shutout. We want to continue winning and hopefully we get to the end of the season in the position to have that first-round bye.”
Sanfilippo scored the second goal of the night last Saturday in the 3-0 win against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium. His goal helped the Rowdies clinch a playoff spot, as well as the Rowdies third consecutive Coastal Cup. This was the defender’s second goal of the season and third since his arrival to the Rowdies in 2011. The San Diego, California native also had an excellent defensive performance, leading the Rowdies to their ninth shutout of the year.
“I would like to congratulate Sanfilippo on his third NASL Defensive Player of the Week award this season,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “I was very pleased with his performance on Saturday night, adding another goal to his career. He has been playing at a very consistent level throughout the season and it has been shown on the pitch, where he always looks to help his teammates.”
Sanfilippo, who has started all 24 games, is tied for first in the NASL with 2,160 minutes played. The honor marks the 10th time this season a Tampa Bay player has received a weekly NASL offensive or defensive award, the most for any team in the league in 2012.
Tampa Bay currently sits in second place in the NASL standings, just four points behind league leaders San Antonio. The Rowdies host to Atlanta this Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. For tickets, call 813-287-1539 or click here.