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New York Cosmos Forward Raúl Named NASL Player of the Week

Raúl González Blanco. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Raúl González Blanco. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

New York Cosmos forward Raúl has been named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week after scoring a goal and having a hand in another in his team’s 3-0 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions at Shuart Stadium on Saturday night.

The former Real Madrid star opened the scoring from the penalty spot, coolly slotting a shot past Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler in the 18th minute. Later in the match, with his team already up 2-0, Raúl beat a defender on the left wing before delivering the cross that led to Leo Fernandes‘ third goal of the season.

“The team is working very hard and we are focused on finishing the spring season strongly,” Raúl said. “I’m happy to be part of what we have achieved so far, and hopefully we can continue to do well.”

The 37-year-old forward has played a key role in the first-place Cosmos’ unbeaten start in 2015. The Spaniard has played in all eight of the team’s matches and has found the net three times.

“It’s great to see Raul recognized by the NASL as the Player of the Week,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “I’m very proud of the team and how hard they have been working, and we will continue to focus on one game at a time.”

The Cosmos’ record of 5W-3D-0L has them atop the NASL Spring Season standings with 18 points – six higher than the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Minnesota United FC. While they enter the final three weeks of the Spring Season with a significant lead, the Cosmos are set to meet one of the teams that is chasing them this Saturday. Raúl and the Cosmos will travel to Minnesota this weekend to take on the Loons, who could narrow the gap to three points with a victory over the league leaders.

Raúl joined the Cosmos in late 2014 after playing most recently with Al Sadd in Qatar. The Madrid native, who is widely recognized as one of the game’s greatest players, was capped over 100 times by the Spanish national team and currently stands as the third highest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history.

Before traveling to Minnesota for their weekend fixture, the Cosmos will be in action on Wednesday, hosting PDL side Jersey Express in the third round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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