NASL names Mendes player of the week

Atlanta Silverbacks forward Pedro Mendes was named the North American Soccer League's Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.

Mendes scored two goals in Saturday's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay, including the game-winner for 2-0 Atlanta. He also scored from 35 yards out early in the second half after the Silverbacks went into the locker room down 3-1.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized by the league,” said Mendes. “I’ve been working really hard in training, so having it pay off in such a big way on Saturday night feels really good.”

Mendes previously played for the Rhode Island Reds of the National Premier Soccer League. He joined the team in the middle of the season last year after previously playing for Silverbacks technical director Eric Wynalda with Cal FC. Mendes tallied four goals in eight games in 2012.

“It’s always nice when the league recognizes one of our players,” said Silverbacks Head Coach BRIAN HAYNES. “Pedro showed good vision and great technique to score two big goals for us this weekend, so I give full credit to him and his teammates for getting the job done against the defending champions.”

The Silverbacks also announced the signing of defender Mark Lavery on Monday. The 22-year-old defender hails from Woodstock and played his college soccer locally at Oglethorpe University.