For the second time in the North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season, Carolina RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald has earned NASL Player of the Week recognition for his work between the posts. Fitzgerald made several clutch saves earning his second consecutive shutout and holding the 2014 Spring Season leaders Minnesota United FC to a scoreless draw on Saturday evening.
“I’m honored to be named Player of the week, but it was really a complete team performance,” said Fitzgerald. “Our centerbacks had countless blocks, outsidebacks were blocking crosses and the midfield did a great job of being compact when we needed them to. It was a good result on the road and something to build on.”
The record crowd of 6,784 at NSC Stadium on Saturday, witnessed Fitzgerald stop all scoring chances from The Loons, keeping the RailHawks in the race for the Spring Championship with two weeks remaining in the season.
RailHawks’ coach Colin Clarke once again praised Fitzgerald for his performance, “He was very, very good and came up with some big saves when we needed him to. He’s been good all year. It’s not a one off performance and he certainly deserves the credit and recognition.”
A native of Baltimore, Md., Fitzgerald, began his time playing with the RailHawks U-23’s before signing with the RailHawks professional team in July 2011. Fitzgerald played college soccer at Wake Forest University and is among the university’s all-time goalkeeper leaders in minutes played, goals against average, save percentage and saves. He was named Second-Team All-ACC in 2010, was a two-time All-ACC Academic selection, and was a member of Wake Forest’s NCAA Championship team in 2007 along with current RailHawks’ teammate Zack Schilawski.