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NASL names Illyes defensive player of the week

ATLANTA - Atlanta Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes has been named the North American Soccer League’s Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.

Illyes, a native of Eger, Hungary, helped lead the Silverbacks to a 2-0 win over Minnesota Stars FC, the league’s defending champion, on Saturday at the NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn. The Hungarian goalkeeper made six saves, and punched away a number of dangerous crosses to clinch the Silverbacks’ second shutout of the season. The result also handed the Stars their first shutout loss at home this season.  

“Daniel made some big saves and punches on Saturday, and I thought his overall performance was outstanding,” said Silverbacks Interim Head Coach Eric Wynalda. “Any time you shut out a team like the Stars in their own backyard, it usually has a lot to do with the goalkeeper, and it was no different on Saturday.”

The veteran goalkeeper is in his first season with the Silverbacks after spending 10 years playing in the Hungarian professional ranks. He has started 15 of the Silverbacks’ 16 games this season and ranks third in the league in saves with 58.

Illyes and the Silverbacks will host the Puerto Rico Islanders this Saturday after returning home from a recent three-game road trip. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.