Stefan Antonijevic and Jemal Johnson highlight the first Team of the Week in 2015
Apr 8, 2015

Stefan Antonijevic’s header helped the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a 3-1 win on the road at Toyota Field against the San Antonio Scorpions, and also earned him Player of the Week honors. Jemal Johnson tallied the fastest goal in North American Soccer League (NASL) with a 12-second strike in the Jacksonville Armada FC’s 3-1 victory over FC Edmonton.

Find out what other top performers made Week 1’s Best XI:

GK: Jimmy Maurer (New York Cosmos)  – Maurer made four big saves in the Cosmos win against Fort Lauderdale. With the 1-0 win, the ‘keeper earned his 14th career NASL shutout, which moves him to third all-time in the league’s Modern Era

DEF: Stefan Antonijevic (Tampa Bay Rowdies) – Antonijevic scored his first-ever NASL goal in the 10th minute of the Rowdies victory over the defending NASL Champions, the San Antonio Scorpions. Also, the towering center back controlled the backline and cleared a ball off the goal line in the win.

DEF: Jaime Frias (Indy Eleven) – Frias had a stellar performance on both sides of the pitch in a 1-1 draw against the Silverbacks. He also drew the penalty kick in the latter stages, which set up Don Smart’s game-tying goal.

DEF: Simon Mensing (Atlanta Silverbacks) –In his NASL debut, Mensing was the organizer of the Silverbacks’ backline. The powerful German-born English center back’s performance nearly netted the club all three points before a late penalty kick against Indy was their undoing. 

DEF: Rovérsio (New York Cosmos) – The Cosmos kept a clean sheet and a large part of that was due to the play of Rovérsio. After an injury-hit campaign last season, it was a strong start to 2015 for the Brazilian defender.

MID: Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay Rowdies) – In the Rowdies victory over the Scorpions, Hristov certainly made an impact. The Bulgarian forward provided one of the assists as well as helped overrun San Antonio’s midfield in the winning effot.

MID: Marcos Senna (New York Cosmos) – Senna, who typically is the fulcrum for Cosmos attacks, played the role of provider once more. The former Spanish international helped create several dangerous attacking opportunities as the Cosmos earned all three points on the road at Lockhart Stadium.

MID: Tiyi Shipalane (Carolina RailHawks) – The RailHawks started brightly against Ottawa Fury FC, and Shipalane was a major factor. The South African midfielder scored the first league goal in 2015 and then drew a penalty kick, which Nacho Novo scored, in the 3-1 win at home. 

FWD: Darwin Espinal (Tampa Bay Rowdies) – A clinical finisher in junior college, Espinal showcased that in his first professional game. The 20-year-old Honduran-born forward showed the calm of a more experienced player with his finish in his Rowdies debut. 

FWD: Jemal Johnson (Jacksonville Armada FC) – How do you treat a Modern Era record-setting crowd? A 12-second goal certainly wasn’t a bad way, as Jemal Johnson’s strike from range put the Armada FC on the path to a 3-1 win over FC Edmonton in the club’s inaugural game.

FWD: Alhassane Keita (Jacksonville Armada FC) – In his NASL debut, Keita was dynamic for the Armada FC. The former Guinean international native also added a fine goal with his run and finish from outside the box just before halftime in Jacksonville’s strong effort in their first match. 

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