Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rowdies' Georgi Hristov named NASL's MVP

Georgi Hristov scored 12 goals and had eight assists in league play for the Rowdies despite missing four of the team's final five matches due to a severe foot bruise

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Georgi Hristov scored 12 goals and had eight assists in league play for the Rowdies despite missing four of the team's final five matches due to a severe foot bruise

In late February, Bulgarian striker Georgi Hristov came to the Tampa Bay Rowdies as an unknown trialist just hoping to find a spot on the roster.

Related News/Archive

Within two weeks, Hristov had made the team and soon a place in the starting lineup. By midseason, he had established himself as arguably the Rowdies' greatest attacking threat, a tireless worker with a knack for always being in the right position to score goals.

Friday, Hristov was selected the North American Soccer League's Golden Ball winner, the award for the league's player of the year.

"I was really surprised because I expected to be probably in the Best XI team, but winning the MVP is a great honor for me, especially coming here in February and not knowing much about the league or even if I would be on the team," Hristov said.

Hristov beat out teammate midfielder Luke Mulholland, Carolina RailHawks forward Brian Shriver and New York Cosmos midfielder Marcos Senna for the award in a vote by the league's media.

The 28-year-old native of Bulgaria scored 12 goals and had eight assists in league play for the Rowdies despite missing four of the team's final five matches due to a severe foot bruise. Hristov finished tied for third in the race for most league goals, three behind Shriver, who won the Golden Boot award given to the league's goal-scoring champion on Monday. Hristov and Mulholland tied for the league lead in assists.

"Without the efforts of the whole team during the season, I wouldn't have won this award," said Hristov, who signed a two-year deal with the Rowdies in March with the second year a club option. "I'm really thankful to my teammates for making sure I fit in right away when I came here, and I'm really thankful to (Rowdies coach) Ricky Hill who is one of the best coaches I've ever had. He really believed in me from the start and gave me a chance to prove myself."

Additionally, Hristov scored all three Rowdies' goals in their three U.S. Open Cup matches. His goal against MLS' Seattle Sounders FC in a third-round Cup game ranks as one of the biggest in Rowdies history. The Rowdies made their deepest run in the Cup competition this season, advancing to the fourth round before bowing out to the Portland Timbers of MLS.

"I think the goal against Seattle was a really big moment not only for me but for the whole club," he said.

Hristov was also voted onto the NASL's Best XI team by the league's coaches as was Mulholland, who scored 11 goals and had eight assists. For Mulholland, the selection was his second in two seasons with the Rowdies.

Rowdies' Georgi Hristov named NASL's MVP 11/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 8, 2013 3:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans previews 2017-18 NBA season, predicts Warriors will be dethroned

    Bucs

    Tampa isn't the greatest basketball market. In fact, it's just about the worst.

    Mike Evans and Jameis Winston celebrate after connecting for a touchdown against the Bears in September. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  4. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]