New York Cosmos forward Lucky Mkosana has been named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week after a standout performance in New York’s 3-0 win over Puerto Rico FC at Shuart Stadium on Saturday night.
The 28-year-old forward had a hand in all three of New York’s goals against Puerto Rico. In the 16th minute, Mkosana delivered a cross into the penalty area that visiting defender Cristiano Dias turned into his own net for the game’s opening goal. Late in the second half, the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, native found the head of teammate Juan Arango for the game’s second goal. Just eight minutes later, Mkosana scored a goal of his own, rounding Puerto Rico goalkeeper David Meves to make it 3-0 in stoppage time.
“I’m honored and thankful to be named NASL Player of the Week,” Mkosana said. “I wouldn’t have been able to have a good game against Puerto Rico FC if it wasn’t for my teammates, who supported me throughout the 90 minutes, and the coaching staff, who trusted me and allowed me to play my game. Although this is an individual honor, it speaks highly of the work that we’re doing as a team and the great things we can accomplish when we work together.”
With the Cosmos entering Saturday’s game on the heels of a disappointing midweek result in Edmonton, Mkosana turned in a high-quality performance. New York had only taken one point from its previous three games going into its clash with Puerto Rico, but Mkosana’s productivity helped push the Cosmos back into the win column. The victory extended New York’s regular season home winning streak to a record-setting 10 games and vaulted the club into first place in the Fall Season Standings.
“Lucky deserves a lot of credit for everything he has achieved so far,” said Giovanni Savarese, Cosmos head coach. “He not only had a phenomenal game against Puerto Rico FC, but he also has shown a lot of sacrifice and dedication throughout the season. We’re thrilled by his contribution to the team because he has worked very hard to get where he currently is without forgetting our principles.”
Used primarily as a substitute until recently, Mkosana now has four goals and three assists this year. The former Dartmouth College standout has been particularly valuable at the outset of the Fall Season, with all four of his 2016 goals coming since July 2.
Mkosana joined the Cosmos prior to the 2015 season after spending time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Before his making his NASL debut, he played with the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders and the PDL’s Michigan Bucks.