Atlanta Silverbacks forward REINALDO NAVIA has been named North American Soccer League Player of the Month, the league announced Monday morning.
The Chilean forward leads the league in goals scored, with a remarkable total of five in three games started. Navia’s most recent performance, one that featured a pair of goals in the Silverbacks’ 3-3 draw against Minnesota Stars FC last Saturday, earned him NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday. Three days later, Navia has been recognized once again, being voted as the league’s April Player of the Month.
“It has been a good week, and I feel honored that people are recognizing my accomplishments so far this season,” Navia said through a translator. “It always feels good to receive awards, but I need to focus more on continuing my goal scoring and helping the team win games.”
In his first season with the club, Navia has been at the forefront of a much-improved Silverbacks attack. As a team, the Silverbacks (0-4-0) are tied for the league lead in goals scored per game, and their total of eight goals is five more than their output through the first four games last season.
Navia, a former star at Club América in Mexico, has been efficient as well, needing only seven shots to tally his five goals this season. A late arrival to training camp, Navia only played 14 minutes in the season opener against San Antonio, meaning all five of his goals have come in the last three games, each of which he has started. He is also the only player in the league to tally two multi-goal games this season.
Through the first four games, the Silverbacks remain undefeated, however, the team is still seeking their first victory after settling for four straight draws. Navia is looking forward to the team’s first win, which he hopes comes this weekend in Minnesota.
“There are some things we need to work on, but overall I think we have played well enough in a few games this season to earn three points,” Navia said. “If we continue to play well and score goals, we’ll start to see some wins – hopefully that is this weekend in Minnesota.”
Just a week after meeting in Atlanta, the Silverbacks and Stars will face off again on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET at the NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn. The Silverbacks return home on May 12 to host FC Edmonton at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. To purchase tickets, visit atlantasilverbacks.com or call 404-969-4900.