Papé Diakité is Named NASL Young Player of the Year
Papé Diakité has been named NASL Young Player of the Year after finishing third in interceptions (86) and clearances (134) during the 2016 campaign. Diakité joined FC Edmonton prior to the season and led the Eddies to the No. 3 seed in The Championship.
Diakité, 23, finished third in the NASL in interceptions (86) and clearances (134) as the Eddies clinched the No. 3 seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament.
“I think what makes him Colin Miller (FC Edmonton head coach) believe in me is my hard work,” Diakité said. “I thank him because he brought me here and for helping me defensively – to match the run of the strikers. He’s done good things for me as a player like to grow up and how to get better.”
The Dakar, Senegal, native recorded 27 appearances (26 starts) and 2,313 minutes of league play, as well as contributed three goals for the Eddies during the season, two of which were game-winners. They were also the first tallies of the central defender’s professional career.
Before joining FC Edmonton for the 2016 Spring Season, Diakité played in Slovakia and most recently in Belgium with Royal Antwerp.
“The first game of the season I was in the Team of the Week, it made me proud,” Diakité said. “It was one of my big moments in this league. I’m happy with what I’ve done.”
Photo Credit: North American Soccer League