New York Cosmos' Raúl, FC Edmonton's Lance Laing, and the Carolina RailHawks' Akira Fitzgerald highlighted the Team of the Week for Week 8
NASL Staff | May 27, 2015

New York Cosmos forward Raúl, FC Edmonton midfielder Lance Laing, and Carolina RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald all helped their sides to wins in Week 8 of the Spring Season. Raúl’s efforts moved the Cosmos closer to a Spring Season trophy, Fitzgerald provided a boost in a special RailHawks win, while Laing again was the catalyst in the Eddies' offensive burst. Their efforts were rewarded with a place in the Team of the Week.

Find out what other top performers made the team below:

GK: Akira Fitzgerald (Carolina RailHawks) – Returning to the side where he began his career and played up until last season, Fitzgerald was a major factor in the Carolina RailHawks’ first win at Lockhart Stadium. The 27-year-old ‘keeper stopped six saves in the process, each one seemingly better than the next, in the 1-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The win was also coach Colin Clarke’s 50th regular season league win in the NASL Modern Era, becoming the first coach to reach the mark.

DEF: Mason Trafford (Ottawa Fury FC) – Ottawa hasn’t hit their stride in the attacking third as often as it'd like, making the defender’s contributions that much more crucial. Trafford had a big part to play in keeping Indy Eleven off the scoresheet. The strong defensive effort by the Canadian international and his back-line partners paid off dividends, as Ottawa won the match late, 1-0, over the Boys in Blue.

DEF: Tiago Calvano (Minnesota United) – Jacksonville continues to be one of the highest-scoring sides in the NASL, and Calvano helped stifle the attack. He not only contributed from his usual role in the back line, but also showed a nose for the goal, taking advantage of a misplayed clearance to score the Loons’ second goal in their 3-2 win against the Armada FC.

DEF: Rovérsio (New York Cosmos) – The Cosmos were facing a resurgent side, the San Antonio Scorpions, on Saturday. The Brazilian international and his teammates completely nullified the Scorpions offensive front, holding a clean sheet in a 3-0 win that pushed New York closer to a Spring Season Championship. The clean sheet also moved goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to the all-time shutout list in the NASL Modern Era with 18, adding an extra bonus for the defender’s effort. Rovérsio also scored the second goal of the match for the Cosmos off of a header late in the second half.

MID: Ritchie Jones (FC Edmonton) – The Englishman found himself in the right place at the right time for his fourth goal of the campaign, moving to joint top scorer in the league so far. After Lance Laing’s cross into the box found the head of Tomi Ameobi, the forward’s cushioned header found Jones at the back post to score with a header of his own. His play in the midfield also contributed to the Eddies’ strong attacking display overall, in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks.

MID: Nicki Paterson (Ottawa Fury FC) – Paterson came on as a second-half substitute against Indy Eleven and had the vital touch in Ottawa’s second win of the Spring Season. Sinisa Ubiparipovic was trying to create space for himself in the box, but Indy defender Brad Ring stepped in to make a clearance. The ball, however, came right to the feet of the Scottish midfielder who sent TD Place into pandemonium with his 88th-minute winner.

MID: Lance Laing (FC Edmonton) – Laing’s form continues to ebb towards stellar, scoring an electric opener from a free kick before jumping in the crowd to celebrate with the Eddies’ home support. The Jamaican international was only getting started, though. He played the ball in that ultimately led to Jones’ tally as well as the cross for Kareem Moses’ headed goal to give Edmonton some breathing room late in the second half. The assist was Laing’s league-leading fourth of the season.

MID: Adam Moffat (New York Cosmos) – Stepping in for Marcos Senna is no easy feat, but the Scottish native allowed the Cosmos to not miss a step in their 3-0 win against the Scorpions. Moffat helped anchor the midfield allowing the creative players to move forward and was the perfect shield for the back line in the win.

MID: Tiyi Shipalane (Carolina RailHawks) – The South African international was instrumental once more in Carolina’s positive attacking movements. Always a danger on the flanks, Shipalane fired home the lone goal in the match, giving the RailHawks their first win since opening night of the Spring Season.

FWD: Raúl (New York Cosmos) – Scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot in the first half, Raúl once again was a focal point of the Cosmos’ attack. The Spanish international had a part to play in the third goal, which sealed the win, by lofting a ball into the box that was headed on by Lucky Mkosana and ultimately headed into the back of the net by Leo Fernandes. The play of the veteran certainly took the wind out of the sails of a Scorpions side that was finding its direction and form in the Spring Season. For his efforts, Raúl also was honored as the Player of the Week.

FWD: Pablo Campos (Minnesota United) – Leading the line once more for the Loons, Campos again put his name on the scoresheet, finding the back of the net with his penalty strike. With Jacksonville Armada FC hoping to get back into the match, Campos played the ball to Miguel Ibarra, for United’s third goal, which proved to be the match-winner

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