The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce Rhode Island Reds midfielder Isaac “Nana” Addai and CD Aguiluchos USA forward Simon Rawnsley as co-winners of the 2016 PUMA Golden Boot. Both players finished with 18 goals in the regular season.
“This award means a lot to me,” Addai commented. “I am humbled and honored to win the Golden Boot. I would like to thank the RI Reds and my teammates for making this possible.”
Addai, who just completed his first NPSL season, also has incredible experience playing overseas. He was a key player for the Liberia U-23 Men’s National Team in addition to playing professionally in both Liberia and Ghana. He was the Team MVP for the Reds in 2016 in addition to being a two-time Player of the Year in the Guatemala Soccer League, a local league in Rhode Island.
His journey is a particularly tremendous one considering that he was first discovered playing in a refugee camp during a civil war in Liberia.
“I am delighted for Isaac that he has been recognized for an excellent season,” said Rhode Island Reds Owner Kabba Joof. “Isaac is an intelligent, technically gifted player that has been an integral part of our team. His attitude, work rate, and professionalism will help him in his desire to play at the next level.”
But while Addai is rejoicing in winning the award for the first time, the other co-winner has been here before.
Rawnsley has a number of NPSL awards to his name, including multiple Mitre National Player of the Week honors and the 2015 PUMA Golden Boot.
“I’m very proud and humbled to receive this award for the second year running,” Rawnsley added. “We had set a high target at the start of the season for a goal a game and it’s really pleasing to have exceeded that. I felt fit and sharp in front of goal this season and was determined to beat my tally from last year. Our possession/attacking style of play creates a lot of opportunities and with my experience and anticipation I’m just in the right place at the right time to be able to convert some of the chances. The whole team and staff have worked tirelessly this year so a lot of the credit must go to them #SomosAguiluchos!”
He has a plethora of experience in the U.S. and abroad. He played collegiate soccer with the University of Southern Indiana before playing indoors with the Evansville Crush. In 2014 he played for Mezcala SC in the San Francisco Soccer Football League (SFSFL), helping the club win the league title and winning the Golden Boot after scoring 20 goals.
“We’re very proud of Simon,” CD Aguiluchos USA President and Founder Roger Amaya concluded. “He’s a good guy. He has worked very hard these past two seasons showing that he has a lot of talent with the ball. We hope that he can feel even more comfortable with the team than he is now. We hope we can have ‘Simon the Great’ in this institution a long time.”
Rawnsley has also played for Bradford City, Halifax Town, Bradford Park Avenue, and Kendal Town in the United Kingdom.
An up-and-coming coach, Rawnsley currently serves as the Bladium West Ham United North American Academy and Pre-Academy Manager. He has already earned several coaching badges, including the West Ham United Academy Coaching Diploma and the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.