NASL: Tampa Bay’s Raphael Cox named player of the week

Tampa Bay midfielder Raphael Cox has been rewarded for his midfield display as the Rowdies took an early lead in the North American Soccer League standings by winning the NASL player of the week award.

Cox, a left-sided midfielder, helped orchestrate the spoiling of the Toyota Field grand opening party in San Antonio in front of a sell-out crowd of 8,177 in a 2-0 win for the visitors.  The reigning Soccer Bowl champions recorded their first win of the 2013 Spring Season, adding to a home draw in the season opener.

Following the opening goal of the game in minute 12, Cox continued his strong play helping the Rowdies maintain possession and create several more scoring opportunities.

“We are delighted that Raphael has been recognized in this manner. He has proven to be very capable and versatile for us since joining the organization, displaying a fantastic attitude and dedication to his game.” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill.

Cox said “It’s an honor to be selected for my first POW award. Our team has been putting in a lot of hard work and it’s great to see it pay off. I would like to thank my coaching staff and teammates for putting me in the position to win this award.”

Cox, who signed for Atlanta in 2011, began the 2012 season with the Silverbacks before moving to Tampa Bay in August. He played a critical role in the Rowdies’ championship run, filling in as an emergency left back during the playoffs.  The Rowdies title was the second for Cox who won the 2009 MLS Cup as a member of Real Salt Lake.  That season, Cox made six appearances for the MLS outfit, scoring one goal.