Week #11 NASL Players of the Week: Tsuyoshi Yoshitake & Jack Stewart
MIAMI, Fla. (June 18, 2012) – Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake has been named the North American Soccer League Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday.
Yoshitake, who hails from Mie Prefecture, Japan, played a major role in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 victory at Minnesota Saturday night with a goal and an assist. Rowdies midfielder Keith Savage scored from 20 yards out in the 87th minute after a pass from Yoshitake as Tampa Bay came back from an early 1-0 deficit to hand Minnesota its first loss at home this season. Yoshitake had evened the game just before halftime as he chipped a shot around Stars goalkeeper Matt VanOekel after a failed clearance attempt for his second goal of the year to tie the match at 1-1.
“I am really pleased for Yoshi to be recognized with this honor,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “It was his first game back after missing a few matches because of injury and we were obviously delighted to have him in the lineup. He is an extremely hard worker and was rightfully rewarded for his efforts.”
For the season, Yoshitake is tied for second on the team with two goals and his two assists are tied for the team lead. He has played in nine games with eight starts thus far this season.
The NASL has named Fort Lauderdale Strikers defender Jack Stewart Defensive Player of the Week. Stewart made several key plays in central defense as the Strikers shutout FC Edmonton at Lockhart Stadium 1-0 on Saturday, June 16th. Stewart played the full ninety minutes helping to organizing the Strikers back-line that was reshuffled due to injuries.
“Jack had a really solid game helping to shut down a potent attack between Cox, Saiko and Porter,“ said Head Coach Daryl Shore. “I thought he was the leader of our back line on the night when we got a much needed win and our first shutout in a long time.”
The clean sheet for the Strikers was the first since the second week of the season against Minnesota. Stewart has played several different defensive positions for the Strikers and has played all 90 minutes in each of his 11 starts for the team. Stewart is a veteran professional having previously spent time with three different MLS clubs, two clubs in Scandanavia and two current NASL clubs. This is the first Defensive Player of the Week award for a Striker this season. Strikers’ forward Andy Herron has won two Offensive Player of the Week awards.