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Hristov wins NASL Golden Ball
November 9th, 2013 12:26AM
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[AWARDS] Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov won the Golden Ball award as the NASL's Player of the Year. The Bulgarian led the Rowdies in scoring with 12 goals and had eight assists after joining the team this season after a decade in Bulgaria with short stops in Poland and Israel. Atlanta Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes was named NASL Coach of the Year, and the Silverbacks led all teams with three players on the NASL Best XI.

NASL Best XI:
Goalkeeper:
Joe Nasco, Atlanta (USA): Played 19 games and earned seven victories, while posting four shutouts for the spring champion Silverbacks. Was working as a policeman in Georgia when signed in 2012. Had no previous pro experience.
 
Defenders:
Aaron Pitchkolan, Minnesota (USA): The Aurora, Colo., native, who also played in the midfield, saw action in 20 matches in 2013 and scored two goals and added an assist. Played five years in MLS with San Jose and FC Dallas (2005-09).
Martyn Lancaster, Atlanta (England): The captain played 23 games and scored once. The stopper spent eight seasons in the English lower divisions and non-league soccer before moving to the United in 2006.
Albert Watson, FC Edmonton (Northern Ireland): Saw action in 20 matches and had one assist during his stellar performance for the Eddies defense. Arrived this winter along with Linfield teammate  Daryl Fordyce after a decade in his native Northern Ireland.
 
Midfielders
Luke Mulholland, Tampa Bay (England): Saw action in 25 games for the Rowdies and finished with 11 goals. Also dished out seven assists, which was second-best in the league. Came from England to attend Wingate University and joined Rowdies from Minnesota in 2012.
Miguel Ibarra, Minnesota (USA): Played all 26 games for United and scored once, while dishing out three assists. Starred for Taft College and UC Irvine before turning pro in 2012. Only 23.
Richard Menjivar, Atlanta (USA/El Salvador): Salvadoran international saw action in 21 games with Silverbacks and notched two goals while dishing out two assists. Product of Developmental Academy (LAFC) and college system (Evansville and Cal State Bakersfield). Came from Cal FC last season.
Marcos Senna, New York (Brazil/Spain): Made 13 appearances for the Cosmos in the fall season. The Brazilian-born Spanish international scored five goals and had two assists. Won Euro 2008 with Spain.
 
Forwards
Georgi Hristov, Tampa Bay (Bulgaria): Led the Rowdies in scoring with 12 and had seven assists in 22 games. Trialed with the Philadelphia Union in February before signing with the Rowdies.
Brian Shriver, Carolina (USA): Was the NASL Golden Boot winner as he ended the year with a league-leading 15 goals. Starred at North Carolina and played three seasons with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers before joining the RailHawks in 2012.
Hans Denissen, San Antonio (Netherlands): Scored 12 goals and recorded out two assists in 21 games with the Scorpions. Spent much of his career in the Dutch second division but had stops in Finland and Cyprus before joining San Antonio for its inaugural season in 2012.


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