Mexican goalkeeper Richard Sanchez made several clutch saves late in the game to earn a second consecutive road victory for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers as they defeated NASL Spring Season Champion Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0 on Saturday evening. The standout keeper’s impressive performance earned him the North American Soccer League Player of the Week honors.
“I’m very happy to be selected as player of the week,” said Sanchez. “It’s something you always work for, you try to get better on day to day basis and I’m obviously happy to be presented with this opportunity (to play with the Strikers). It was a great game not only from an individual standpoint but from a collective standpoint. We all trained hard and put it to work in the game.”
After a similar performance in the 2-1 triumph at San Antonio the week before, Sanchez was in unbeatable form for the Strikers as he held on to his first shutout of the season, making several key saves throughout the match. He denied Silverbacks midfielder Borfor Carr in the 90th minute and produced a diving save to keep out an effort from forward Brad Strisser in the closing seconds of injury time.
Strikers coach Günter Kronsteiner said of Sanchez: “He definitely deserves this award. He’s a great keeper for his age and there are not a lot around like him. We are happy to have him.”
Originally from Mission Hills, Calif., Sanchez moved to Dallas, Texas and started playing with Texas FC before joining the Atlético Madrid in Spain. In 2009, Sanchez moved back to Dallas and signed with the FC Dallas Academy and two years later with FC Dallas.
Sanchez was eligible through his parents’ birthplace to play for the Mexico under-17 team and help lead them to the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Mexico.
Currently on loan with the Strikers from FC Dallas, Sanchez also was in goal for the Mexico team that captured the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship this past February in Puebla and he competed with the Tricolor at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
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