Carolina RailHawks forward Pablo Campos has been named the Week 16 NASL Offensive Player of the Week.
Campos scored two goals on Saturday night to lead the RailHawks to a 4-1 win over Edmonton at WakeMed Soccer Park.
“It was an excellent performance from Pablo and one well deserving of the award,” said RailHawks Coach Martin Rennie. “He was making great runs all night and he showed his ability to finish. His confidence is growing and we look for him to have a strong finish to the season.”
Campos is the fifth RailHawks player this season to have been chosen as a Player of the Week. Etienne Barbara has been named the Offensive Player of the Week four times and Nick Zimmerman has been selected once. Goalkeeper Brad Knighton has been chosen as the Defensive Player of the Week twice, and former captain Brad Rusin was selected three times before his transfer to Denmark earlier this month.
Campos scored the game’s first goal in the 37th minute. Defender Cory Miller played a ball up the right flank to Campos, who shielded his man off the ball, allowing him to turn and go to goal unmarked. Edmonton goalkeeper Rein Baart came off his line, but Campos slipped it by him to put the RailHawks ahead 1-0.
In the 67th minute, Nick Zimmerman started a counterattack from the RailHawks’ side of the field. His pass to Etienne Barbara beat the offside trap, allowing Barbara and Campos to go in 2-v-1. Barbara sucked his defender outside then played the ball into Campos. Campos chipped it over Baart as he charged off his line, then volleyed it into the open net for his second of the evening.
Though it went down as an Edmonton own goal, Campos set up the RailHawks’ third goal of the night. He sent a low cross through the area looking for Barbara, but Edmonton defender Paul Hamilton tried to clear the ball away only to see it go into the Edmonton net.
With eight goals, Campos is second only to Barbara’s 15 in the race for the NASL golden boot.
Atlanta, Georgia – 7-25-11
Atlanta Silverbacks defender Tyler Ruthven has been named the North American Soccer League’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Ruthven was a key contributor to the Silverbacks’ strong defensive performance in the team’s 2-1 victory over surging FC Tampa Bay Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. The visitors came in riding a four-game unbeaten streak, with eight goals scored during that stretch. Ruthven and the Silverbacks held FC Tampa Bay to just one goal and shut down the league’s second leading scorer, forward Mike Ambersley.
Ruthven made a crucial play down the stretch in Saturday’s game. With less than 10 minutes remaining in the match, FC Tampa Bay midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake dodged a dive from Silverbacks goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and sent a shot towards an open net; Ruthven came to the rescue, safely heading away what would have been a late game-tying goal.
Earlier in the game, the Alpharetta, Ga., native also contributed on offense, recording an assist off a throw in deep in Tampa Bay territory. Midfielder Ciaran O’Brien connected with the long throw, making a diving header to score.
Ruthven, whose father, Dick, pitched for the Atlanta Braves and won the 1980 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies, has been a staple in the Silverbacks’ back line and is the only player on the team to start every game this season.
Ruthven’s league honors mark the third straight week in which a Silverbacks player was selected as an NASL Player of the Week. It is the first time the Silverbacks have had a defensive player recognized by the league.