New York Cosmos Midfielder Leo Fernandes Named NASL Young Player of the Year

The young midfielder scored eight goals and added three assists in 2015
NASL Staff | Nov 11, 2015

New York Cosmos midfielder Leo Fernandes has been named 2015 NASL Young Player of the Year – an honor that goes to the most outstanding player aged 23 and under, the league announced Wednesday.

Fernandes, 23, tallied eight goals and three assists to the help the Cosmos secure the Spring Season title and the best overall record in 2015. New York will now play for the Soccer Bowl trophy after defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, in The Championship Semifinals.

“It's an honor to be named Young Player of the Year,” Fernandes said. “Every time I step on the field for training or for a game, I give 110 percent and this award just lets me know that I’m on the right track. I’d like to thank all of my teammates and my family for helping me achieve this honor.”

The Brazilian-born midfielder, who grew up on Long Island, scored in his first match in a Cosmos jersey, notching the game-winner against the Strikers in a 1-0 victory on April 5. Fernandes never looked back from there, earning more and more minutes and eventually playing a key role in the Cosmos’ attack.

“Leo is a great team player both on and off the pitch,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “In the short time he has been here, he has made a real impact for the Cosmos. He is a talented young player and he has the potential to have a fantastic career.”

Fernandes played all four years at Stony Brook University, where he was named America East Midfielder of the Year for three successive seasons, particularly shining in his senior year with nine goals and seven assists. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2013, and has scored twice in 18 appearances for the Union. Fernandes spent two stints on loan with the Harrisburg City Islanders before joining the Cosmos on a season-long loan ahead of the 2015 Spring Season. 

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