The end of the North American Soccer League season is quickly approaching, and with the end of the season come awards. Today, the NASL announced the finalist for the NASL Golden Ball, awarded to the league's most valuable player, as voted upon by the league's fans and media.
The New York Cosmos saw a pair of players nominated, with both captain Carlos Mendes and midfielder Leo Fernandes finding themselves nominated for the award. Others nominated include Tomi Ameobi (Edmonton), Paul Black (Atlanta), Raphael Castillo (San Antonio), Jaime Chavez (Atlanta), Omar Cummings (San Antonio), Justin Davis (Minnesota), Victor "PC" Giro (Fort Lauderdale), Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay), Ibson (Minnesota), Alhassane Kieta (Jacksonville), Lance Laing (Edmonton), Pascal Millen (Jacksonville), Erick Norales (Indy Eleven), Nacho Novo (Carolina), Romuald Peiser (Ottawa), Stefano Pinho (Fort Lauderdale), Dane Richards (Indy), Richie Ryan (Ottawa), Maicon Santos (Tampa Bay), and Tiyi Shipalane (Carolina).
Fernandes scored eight goals and chipped in three assists during league play this season, in addition to an excellent showing against New York City Football Club in which he scored a vital goal during the comeback. He was named to the NASL Team of the Week twice, while putting up fantastic numbers for a wide midfielder.
Mendes has started 26 NASL games for the Cosmos thus far, stabilizing a defensive unit which has dealt with injuries for much of the year. He was named to the Team of the Week twice, and has anchored the defense to the second best goals against total of the 11 NASL clubs.
To cast your vote, feel free to click this link. Voting closes on October 27.