FC Tampa Bay defender Andres Arango has been named the North American Soccer League Defender of the Week, the league announced on Monday. FC Tampa Bay becomes the first team in the league to have three different players receive the Defender of the Week award this season.
Arango and FC Tampa Bay came from behind to beat FC Edmonton 2-1 Sunday at Foote Field in Edmonton, Alberta to extend the club’s unbeaten streak to a season-high four games. FCTB also snapped FC Edmonton's five-match unbeaten streak with the victory and held them to one goal after yielding four goals at Foote Field in May.
FC Tampa Bay added a 1-0 win over the English Premier League Bolton Wanderers in an international friendly Thursday night at Al Lang Stadium. Arango played all 90 minutes in both of FC Tampa Bay’s matches last week and has started nine matches overall this season. His lone goal came against Ft. Lauderdale on July 4.
“I want to give a lot of credit to all of the guys on the team because it is an all-around effort,” said Arango. “We have been working really hard defensively to make sure we are organized and we are all coming together now as a team. If we can keep working hard defensively, the results will keep coming.”
The award marks the fifth time an FC Tampa Bay player has received a weekly league honor this season. Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler was named NASL Defender of the Week on April 25 following a scoreless draw at Montreal and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was selected NASL Defender of the Week on May 24 after FCTB’s 3-0 victory over Montreal. Forward Mike Ambersley was named NASL Offensive Player of the Week on June 13 following his two-goal performance against the Silverbacks on June 12, while midfielder Pascal Millien received the award after posting a goal and two assists against Fort Lauderdale on July 4.