FC Edmonton midfielder Chris Nurse has won the North American Soccer League Player of the Month award for August, which is voted for by media who regularly cover the NASL.
In a close contest, Nurse edged out Carolina RailHawks striker Brian Shriver and Tampa Bay Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo by a single vote.
Nurse, a Guyana international who has captained his country, scored three goals in consecutive games and played a key role in a fourth goal as his side won once and drew twice at home and picked up a point on the road. He has been named to the NASL Team of the Week four consecutive times.
“It is a credit to how hard the team has been working,” said Nurse. “I wouldn't have gotten any of the goals if the team hadn’t been giving it their all. But individual accolades don't mean anything if you're not getting results and my biggest goal as well as the team's goal is to win the fall championship.
“And thanks to our supporters who are growing bigger and louder week by week.”
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Born in London, Nurse played for several English clubs including Kingstonian, Aldershot, Tamworth and Telford United, before making the jump across the pond to America. He made his NASL debut in 2010 with the Puerto Rico Islanders and joined the Carolina RailHawks on loan in 2011/12 before returning to the Islanders for 2012. Nurse has earned 47 national team caps with Guyana since 2008, scoring five goals.
“Chris certainly deserves it since he's had an excellent run of form in these past few games,” said FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller. “He has continually proven to be a good leader within the group and has been a good role model for the rest of the team. I know that his form will continue throughout the remaining games.”
Nurse helped FC Edmonton to their first win of the NASL Fall Season in the second week of action with a determined tackle to win a ball that led to a Corey Hertzog scoring in a 1-0 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions at Clarke Stadium.
At home to the NASL Spring Season champion Atlanta Silverbacks on August 18, Nurse headed home a Neil Hlavaty free kick to earn a draw and his dominating midfield performance won the second of four straight NASL Player of the Week honors.
On the road in Tampa Bay, Nurse capitalized on a loose ball inside the penalty area to secure a point for the Eddies in a 1-1 draw against the Rowdies as he again found the target.
In a 1-1 draw at home to the New York Cosmos Nurse broke the deadlock in the second half when he again scored on the end of a Hlavaty cross.
In total, eight players were nominated for the August NASL Player of the Month award. The other candidates for recognition were:
Richard Sanchez, Goalkeeper, Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Diego Restrepo, Goalkeeper, Tampa Bay Rowdies
Pablo Campos, Forward, Minnesota United FC
Brian Shriver, Forward, Carolina RailHawks
Tomasz Zahorski, Forward, San Antonio Scorpions
Pedro Mendes, Forward, Atlanta Silverbacks
Marcos Senna, Midfield, New York Cosmos
Previous winners of the NASL Player of the Month award in 2013 were Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Luke Mulholland (April) Minnesota United FC forward Simone Bracalello (May) and San Antonio Scorpions Striker Hans Denissen (June).
Media note: To ensure each player was afforded five games in which to generate a Player of the Month nomination, the September 1 NASL Week 5 game between FC Edmonton and the New York Cosmos was included because it was played on the same competitive weekend as three other games played on August 31.
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