Wednesday, May 9

Lower Division Five Stars - Round 5

It was a big week for players coming off the bench. Three of the Five Stars were second half substitutes...

1 – Shaun Saiko – F – FC Edmonton: Led the club to a big 3-0 win days after falling in the first leg of the Canadian Championship first leg, scoring three goals against the Carolina RailHawks.

2 – Joseph Kabwe – M – Charlotte Eagles: He came off the bench with a half-hour left and rallied Charlotte to a victory in Harrisburg, setting up two goals for the 2-1 win. 

3 – Walter Restrepo – M – Fort Lauderdale Strikers: With the club trailing by two with 25 minutes left, he scored to cut the deficit in half and set up the equalizer to give the Strikers the 3-3 draw at home.

4 – Ian Fuller – F – Orlando City: In a tight contest with the visitors he played a key role off the bench setting up the second go-ahead goal with 10 minutes left. And when Pittsburgh tied the match up again, he scored the game-winner with two minutes remaining.

5 – Hakop (Jack) Avesyan – M – Wilmington Hammerheads: A former standout for Ventura County, he played only 12 minutes in the 2-1 loss two nights earlier in LA. But when he came off the bench Sunday, he kept Wilmington from dropping their second straight, scoring two go-ahead goals as they earned the 2-2 draw on the road in their third game in five days.

Five Stars for the Season

First Five:

1 – Walter Restrepo – M – Fort Lauderdale Strikers: Restrepo’s goal and assist rallied Fort Lauderdale to a 3-3 draw, giving him two goals and four assist in the last four games for the team. Previous: 5

2 – Kristian Nicht – G – Rochester Rhinos: Nicht needed only two saves for a 1-0 shutout against Charlotte, who had played the night before. The clean sheet though kept him perfect through four games, however, against three clubs with a combined three wins.  Previous: 3

3 – Reinaldo Navia – F – Atlanta Silverbacks: Reinaldo Navia had scored five goals in the previous three games for the Silverbacks, but was kept off the ledger as they fell 2-0 in Minnesota this week. Previous: 2

4 – Stefan Smith – F – Antigua Barracuda: Like a yo-yo, Smith continues to go up and down the list. He started high but fell while the club sat idle. Last week, he jumped back up to the top spot, but with two shutout losses on the road, he falls again this week. Previous: 1

5 – Jonathan Fana – F – Puerto Rico Islanders: Idle this week, Fana has three assists and two goals in the past four games for the Islanders. Previous: 4

The Next Five: 6 Nicki Paterson (M, Charleston Battery), 7 Jose Cuevas (F, Charleston Battery), 8 Richard Martin (G, Puerto Rico Islanders), 9 Shaun Saiko (F, FC Edmonton), 10 Bryce Taylor (M, Wilmington Hammerheads)

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3 
Week 4

About Five Stars:
WEEK: The top five professional lower division performers in the North American Soccer League and USL Pro.
SEASON: The top five professional lower division performers cumulatively for the year in the NASL and USL Pro. The list is updated weekly.

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