MIAMI, Fla. (July 9, 2012) – Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake has been named the North American Soccer League Player of the Month for June 2012, the league announced Monday.
Yoshitake scored four goals and added one assist in three games played in the month of June, leading the Rowdies to victories in all three matches. In the vote conducted by 20 media members from NASL markets, Yoshitake was chosen ahead of San Antonio Scorpions forward Pablo Campos and Fort Lauderdale Strikers midfielder Mark Anderson, who finished tied for second, a point 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 set up midfielder Keith Savage’s game-winner in the 87th minute. His performance was recognized with NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors.â€¨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 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 players from Tampa Bay, forwards Aaron King and Mike Ambersley, captured the NASL Player of the Month award, in July and August, respectively.