The Cosmos ran into a hot goalkeeper this past weekend against Carolina, as Akira Fitzgerald was on top of his game. His 77th minute save on Mads Stokkelien certainly helped the home side to come away from the match with three points, as did his all around fine performance on the evening.
His fine game didn't go unnoticed by the NASL, as today has was named the league's player of the week. Carolina coach Colin Clarke had the following to say about his performance:
"He has come up big for us in big moments before and Saturday night was no exception. His leadership of the defense and the entire team for those last 20 minutes that allowed us to keep the shutout and to extend our home unbeaten match to 18."
Fitzgerald had plenty of praise for his defense, who were also excellent on Saturday:
"The recognition and shutout really goes to the entire team. It was a total team effort and the guys in front of me were fantastic all night long. I think it says a lot about the character of this team to defend the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time with eight players and preserve the shutout."
It's nice to see Fitzgerald honored for his fine work against New York, though I'd be happier if he had played a bit poorly. Hopefully the Cosmos won't continue to run into hot goalkeepers going forward.