Goalkeepers Joe Nasco of the Atlanta Silverbacks and the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Diego Restrepo both turned in spectacular performances NASL Week 6 action, which earned them a share of the North American Soccer League Player of the Week honors.
“I'm both humbled and honored to be selected as NASL Player of the Week,” said Nasco, who faced a constant barrage of shots in the 1-1 draw against the host New York Cosmos. “I'm glad I was able to come up with some crucial saves in New York this weekend, but at the end of the day, that's what I'm called upon to do week in and week out. I owe a big thanks to our team and our coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to be in this position.”
Among the Nasco’s stops were a pair in the 28th minute off a New York counterattack that ended with midfielder Sebastian Guenzatti forcing Nasco into a crucial fingertip save and then the ensuing corner kick once again found Guenzatti, but Nasco was there to make a diving stop. In the second half, Cosmos’ substitute forward Satoru Koshiwase forced Nasco into consecutive point-blank reaction saves.
Nasco, who is a native of Kissimmee, Fla., has been the Silverbacks since 2012 after spending time at Andrew College and Birmingham–Southern College and later with the PDL’s Panama City Pirates. He ended his visit to Hofstra University with eight saves for the NASL Spring Champion Silverbacks, who have yet to lose away from Atlanta.
Follow Joe Nasco on Twitter: @JoeNascoGK18
Also during NASL Week 6, Venezuelan native Restrepo earned his second victory of the NASL Fall season as the Rowdies topped the visiting Carolina RailHawks 3-2 at St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Stadium.
“I am happy for receiving this award and especially after picking up the win,” said Restrepo. “We owed the win to the fans and we were all excited that we were able to get the three points. It’s great to work alongside Andrew Fontein and (Goalkeeper Coach) Slobodan Janjus, who both push me to become a better goalkeeper day in and day out.”
RailHawks forward and current NASL Golden Boot leader Brian Shriver was denied his 13th goal of the season when Restrepo was able to cross the box and make a fantastic save to prevent an open net opportunity in the first half. That was followed by a one-on-one save by Restrepo against midfielder Ty Shipalane in the second half.
Prior to joining the Rowdies in March of 2013, the native of Merida, Venezuela played in Colombia for club powerhouse America de Cali in 2011. Restrepo then played 2012 with one of Venezuela’s most popular clubs, Deportivo Tachira.
Follow Diego Restrepo on Twitter: @DiegoRestrepoGK
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