November 12, 2017 - North American Soccer League (NASL)
NEW YORK (November 10, 2017) - Miami FC forward StÃƒ©fano Pinho is the recipient of the 2017 North American Soccer League (NASL) Golden Ball award, which goes to the league's most valuable player.
Pinho, 26, received the most votes from fans and media after racking up 17 goals and four assists in league play this year. He also claimed the NASL Golden Boot award as the league's top scorer. The Brazilian's outstanding play helped Miami earn both the Spring and Fall Season titles, as well as the top seed in The Championship, the league's four-team postseason tournament.
A native of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Pinho was named Player of the Week twice and was also featured on Team of the Week six times. He scored four goals in a 7-0 victory over the San Francisco Deltas - a game that clinched Miami the Spring Season title. Pinho scored at least two goals in a game on two other occasions, and finished the Fall Season with four goals in the final four games.
He began his career with Fluminense before spending loan spells in Brazil, Finland, and the U.S., where he took home the NASL Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards in 2015 as a member of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. He scored 16 goals that season. Pinho spent last season with Minnesota United, where he scored five league goals.
2011: Etienne Barbara (Carolina RailHawks, 20 goals, eight assists)
2012: Pablo Campos (San Antonio Scorpions, 21 goals, five assists)
2013: Georgi Hristov (Tampa Bay Rowdies, 12 goals, eight assists)
2014: Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United, eight goals, five assists)
2015: StÃƒ©fano Pinho (Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 16 goals, seven assists)
2016: Juan Arango (New York Cosmos, 15 goals, seven assists)