New York Cosmos forward Raúl has been named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Month for May after receiving the most media votes.
In five May matches, the Madrid native scored three goals to help the first-place Cosmos maintain an undefeated record in NASL Spring Season play. Led by Raúl, the Cosmos are now on the verge of clinching the league’s Spring Season Championship with a six-point advantage over the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Minnesota United FC with two weeks to go.
“The team has been playing well and I’m happy to help contribute to that,” Raúl said. “It’s a long season, so we have to continue to stay focused.”
Once the UEFA Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer, Raúl has found the net in three of his last four NASL matches. The former Real Madrid star is tied with the San Antonio Scorpions’ Omar Cummings, Minnesota United FC’s Pablo Campos, and FC Edmonton’s Ritchie Jones for the league lead in goals with four.
Raúl put his name on the scoresheet in the Cosmos’ 4-2 win over FC Edmonton on May 10 and then followed it up with a goal in his team’s 3-0 victory over the San Antonio Scorpions on May 23.
The Spanish legend capped off May with a massive goal against Minnesota United FC, scoring a dramatic – and well-taken – equalizer in the 90th minute of a 1-1 draw on May 30.
“Raul is a tremendous presence for us,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “He’s obviously a constant goalscoring threat, but he also impacts so many other areas on the field.”
Since joining the Cosmos prior to the 2015 season, the 37-year-old forward has showed no signs of slowing down. Only 10 players across the league have seen more playing time than Raúl, who has been on the field for 741 of a possible 810 minutes.
The league-leading Cosmos have this weekend off, but despite not having a match, the club could still capture the Spring Season Championship. The Rowdies and United each need to win on Saturday to stay in the title race. If both sides lose or draw, the Cosmos will clinch the Spring Season crown, which comes with an automatic playoff berth.
New York made history earlier this week, playing the Cuban National Team in a friendly at Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana, Cuba. The Cosmos won the match, 4-1, and Raúl chipped in with a pair of assists.
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