JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After leading Armada FC to their first road win in franchise history, Alhassane Keita has been named the North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week. Keita scored both his club’s goals in a 2-1 win over Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place on Saturday night.
The win snapped a 25-game winless streak away from home, in NASL play. It was also interim head coach Mark Lowry’s first win since taking over for Tony Meola last week.
“It was very important to win that game on the road, and everybody gave it all they had,” Keita said. “The two goals just came [to me], and we were able to win the game and put forth a great team effort.”
After going scoreless in his first eight league appearances this year, Keita now has three goals in his last three matches. The game winning score in Ottawa was sheer determination. Keita is only listed at 5-foot-5 but with the game tied at 1-1, he out jumped his defenders and sent a header past Ottawa goalkeeper Romuald Peiser to seal all three points for the visitors.
“We said before the game that big names step up in the big games, and we thought this was a big game,” Lowry said. “I think we can all agree that with the career that Keita has had, he is definitely a big name - not just on the squad but in the league. I think he showed people on Saturday night that he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He had two fantastic goals, real striker’s goals.”
Jacksonville will try to make it two wins in a row when they host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Community First Park on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.