Week #12 NASL Players of the Week: Tsuyoshi Yoshitake & Ray Burse
MIAMI, Fla. (June 25, 2012) – Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake has been named the North American Soccer League Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, the league announced on Monday. The honor marks the fifth time a Tampa Bay player has been honored this season, the most for any team in the league in 2012.
Yoshitake, scored the game-winning goal on the last play of the match as part of a two-goal performance as Tampa Bay rallied for a 3-2 victory over then-first place San Antonio last Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies scored twice in the final minutes of the match to snap the Scorpions’ nine-game unbeaten streak. Yoshitake completed the comeback in second half injury time, scoring his second goal of the game after midfielder Luke Mulholland had tied the match on a free kick in the 88th minute. Yoshitake also scored on a beautiful header after a pass from midfielder Keith Savage in the 39th minute for his first goal of the match.
“Yoshi has been tremendous,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “He worked very hard while he was injured last month and it has paid dividends for him since he’s come back. He’s given us a new dimension with his energy and has been rewarded for his hard work and efforts. I’m delighted for him and I’m hoping he can continue his rich run of form.”
Yoshitake also captured last week’s NASL award after helping Tampa Bay rally for a victory on June 16 at Minnesota with a goal and an assist. For the season, Yoshitake is tied for the team lead in goals (4), and assists (2) .
The North American Soccer League has named Carolina RailHawks Goalkeeper Ray Burse Defensive Player of the Week for Week 13. On Saturday night against FC Edmonton, Burse made three saves to earn his second consecutive shutout and third of the season. This is Burse’s second Defensive Player of the Week award in 2012 after receiving the honor for a Week One shutout against defending NASL Champion Minnesota Stars in the NASL Champions Challenge.
“Ray has shown great composure along with the entire defense,” said RailHawks Head Coach Colin Clarke. “In the second half we were forced to work hard defensively to preserve the shutout. Ray’s organization and leadership, as well as his saves, were key in earning the victory and the shutout.”
Burse currently ranks third among all goalkeepers in saves with 45 saves on the year. In his first season with the RailHawks, Burse has started all 13 NASL games for the RailHawks and has been a key factor in the teams turn around, only allowing three goals during the current five match unbeaten streak in league play.