MIAMI, Fla. (November 5, 2012) – Tampa Bay Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella has been named North American Soccer League's Player of the Month for October, the league announced Monday. NASL Best XI goalkeeper Attinella proved to be crucial in the 2012 NASL Playoffs, making 24 saves in four games as the Rowdies won the 2012 NASL Championship.
Attinella began October with a combined nine saves in the first and second leg of the NASL Semifinals against the Carolina RailHawks. His performance in the semifinals helped the Rowdies reach the 2012 NASL Championship Series, where they faced the Minnesota Stars FC. The USF alumni had an outstanding game in the first leg of the finals in Blaine, MN, making 9 saves, keeping the Rowdies just two goals down going into the second leg. On October 27, the Rowdies hosted the Stars in the second leg of the NASL Soccer Bowl Finals, where Attinella would make six saves in the match. He would go on to make three spectacular saves in penalty kicks, lifting the Rowdies to their 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl.
“It’s a big honor whenever you get recognized by the league,” said Attinella. “What our team was able to accomplish in the month of October was something special. I am glad that I could be a big part of bringing the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship to Tampa Bay once again.”
The Clearwater native played in all 32 games this season, leading the NASL in saves in the regular season with 118, and finishing second with a goals against average of 1.07. Attinella’s 11 shutouts in the regular season helped the Rowdies give up only 30 goals, tied for second fewest in the NASL. He earned five NASL Defensive Player of the Week awards, most by a defensive player in the NASL this season and tied for most overall with San Antonio’s Pablo Campos, who has claimed the offensive award five times.
“It is a fantastic achievement by Jeff to have been named the NASL Player of the Month,” said Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill. “Jeff really was instrumental in ensuring that we were able to remain in games with a chance of winning throughout the playoffs and the regular season. His performances were superb down the final stretch, culminating with his three penalty saves in the NASL Soccer Bowl.”
Attinella also led the NASL in saves in the 2011 season with 128, while being name NASL Defender of the Week twice. He had five shutouts in 2011, totaling 16 clean sheets in his two-year professional career.
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