TAMPA – Coming off a two-goal performance last Saturday, Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov has once again shown why he is one of the most prolific finishers in the North American Soccer League. Having found the back of the net in five opportunities in the Fall Season, the Bulgarian now totals 11 league goals and is just one away from Carolina’s Brian Shriver and San Antonio’s Hans Dennison, who lead the league with 12.
“I hope to continue scoring as the season goes on,” said Hristov. “I have been having a very good season so far, but I still have things I need to improve. There are very strong forwards in this league and I am happy to be one of them.”
The 29-year-old totals 14 goals in all competitions, which includes his three goals in the U.S. Open Cup. Although he is a constant threat in the final third, Hristov reiterated that if the team does not win, his goals are not worth anything.
“To be honest, at this moment I am not focused on being the top scorer,” commented Hristov. “If at the end of the year I end up leading the league that would be fantastic, but right now I need to do everything possible to help the team win. I could finish the season] leading the league in goals, but if we do not make it to the Soccer Bowl, I will not be satisfied with my season.”
Hristov has not only scored goals, but he has also helped produce them. His seven assists this year are tied for most in the NASL, sitting alongside fellow midfielder Luke Mulholland and Atlanta’s Danny Barrera.
“Sometimes picking up the assist makes me happier than scoring a goal,” explained Hristov. “We all have the same goal at this club and that is to bring another championship to Tampa Bay.”
When Hristov arrived as a trialist in March, Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill immediately saw the forward’s potential.
“We are very fortunate to have a skilled player like Georgi on the team,” said Hill. “He has been in excellent form all year and has been one of the offensive pillars to this year’s team. He is one of the most creative players in this league and his statistics attest to that.”
A recent formation change has benefited the Rowdies attacking third, with Tampa Bay scoring nine goals in their last four matches. The goal production has helped the Rowdies reach a 10-game unbeaten run, which dates back to June 23 when the Rowdies defeated the Silverbacks 2-1 in Atlanta.
“This new formation gives me more freedom up top,” stated Hristov. “Not only can I drop back more towards the midfield and feed balls through to the other attackers, but I can also serve as the go-to striker in the box.”
In the upcoming match against the New York Cosmos, Hristov will not only be looking to add to his goal count, but he’ll also be on the hunt for a win that will take the Rowdies to first place in the NASL standings. The match against the league-leaders will kick off at 5:00 p.m. ET at James H. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York. match will be broadcast on ONE World Sports.
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