PLAYER OF THE WEEK | RailHawks Midfielder Austin Da Luz

Da Luz scored twice, including the game-winning goal, to lift Carolina to a win on the road
NASL Staff | Apr 11, 2016

Carolina RailHawks midfielder Austin da Luz has been named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week after starring in his club’s dramatic victory over Rayo OKC on Saturday night.

The RailHawks stole all three points in Oklahoma City, thanks to a pair of goals from da Luz, who scored deep into second-half stoppage time to seal a 3-2 win.

"It's an honor to be named the NASL Player of the Week,” da Luz said. “Our entire team put forth a fantastic effort in a difficult game on the road this week, and I’m happy to share this award with all of them. We're looking forward to many more among us this season.”

Now with three goals in his first two matches, da Luz has started the season off as one of the league’s hottest players. The former Wake Forest standout opened the scoring at Miller Stadium on Saturday, finishing off a cross from teammate Nazmi Albadawi in the 23rd minute. After RailHawks forward Aly Hassan brought the game level at 2-2 midway through the second half, da Luz stepped in with some late-match heroics, heading home a corner kick in the sixth minute of stoppage time to stun the home crowd and give Carolina a last-gasp victory.

The RailHawks have now taken six points from their first two matches and sit only behind the New York Cosmos on goal differential.

“I know Austin will be the first to recognize the rest of the team,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said. “We have had a great start to the Spring Season, but it’s still early and we know that there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us if we are going to achieve our ultimate goal of bringing home a championship.” 

Carolina made a number of roster changes over the course of the offseason, but da Luz was one of the veteran players who remained in The Triangle. The 28-year-old midfielder is currently in the midst of his second stint with the RailHawks, having played with the club from 2012-2013. In addition to his time in Carolina, da Luz has been on the books at the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, and Orlando City SC.

The confident RailHawks return home this week when they play host to Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The match can be seen live nationally on ESPN3 (U.S) and (Canada), regionally on TWC SportsChannel (North/South Carolina), and locally on WRAL2 (Raleigh/Cary) and Rogers TV (Ottawa).

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