NEW YORK (Wednesday, May 3, 2017) – Orlando City SC goalkeeper Joe Bendik was voted Major League Soccer’s Player of the Month by members of the media for the month of April of the 2017 MLS season.
The 28-year-old helped push Orlando to the top of the league standings with four wins in five April matches, ending the month with four consecutive victories. The Lions currently pace the Supporters’ Shield race with 18 points (6-1-0 overall record) behind a stout defense that has allowed five goals on the season, ranking tied for second league wide. Bendik led all MLS goalkeepers with four April victories, while his three clean sheets this season, including two in April, rank second at his position.
Orlando began the month with a 2-0 loss at Columbus Crew SC’s MAPRFE Stadium on April 1, but quickly rebounded with a 1-0 victory at Orlando City stadium against the New York Red Bulls on April 9. Bendik made a pair of crucial saves against Bradley Wright-Phillips, including a diving stop in the opening minutes of the match (Watch Save) along with a swat in the 85th minute to keep the Red Bulls off the board (Watch Save). The Georgia native would then lead Orlando to a 2-1 home victory over the LA Galaxy on April 15, recording five saves in the performance.
The Lions registered their first road win of the season on April 23 with a 2-1 victory over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. Bendik dazzled with a season-high seven saves on the day, including a swift stop on a Rodney Wallace header from close range in the 68th minute (Watch Save). In the waning moments of the match, Bendik once again salvaged Orlando’s victory when stopping David Villa’s blistering shot in the 93rd minute (Watch Save). Bendik capped the month with Orlando’s fifth consecutive home victory, extending the team’s MLS record for a club opening a new stadium built from the ground up, with a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on April 29.
Orlando City SC next travels to face Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN1/3/4/5/MLS Live) before playing the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE). The match will be locally televised on WRDQ TV27. It will also be transmitted locally on Real Radio 104.1 FM in English and on La Nueva 990 AM in Spanish.
MLS Player of the Month is voted upon by a panel of select national media members in a process conducted by MLS Communications.