By JAKE NUTTING

Georgi Hristov did what he does best on Saturday night. Six minutes after entering as substitute to make his 121st appearance and pass Takuya Yamada for the record, Hristov grabbed the lead for the Rowdies against Louisville City with an outstanding strike. His teammates and Coach Stuart Campbell weighed in on Hristov’s massive impact on the match and why everyone in the locker room and in the stands at Al Lang love him.


“A legend. To me he’s the Bulgarian legend. He’s a great professional, honestly. On and off the field, he just takes everything seriously and you can tell when he steps on the field. He gets the job done. He does exactly what he’s supposed to do. It’s a great thing on his 121st game to come in and score like that, especially that goal, it was a beautiful goal. Yeah, Georgi the legend.” — Darnell King

“He embodies the Rowdies. He’s a great, great guy in the locker room. Coming off the bench is very hard in a game like this, so credit to him coming in a big game scoring a goal a couple minutes after he came on the field. That’s Georgi, he’s a true professional. I’m happy to know him the last four, five years now.” — Matt Pickens

“To stay at a football club, especially nowadays, you need to continuously perform. It’s not doing it for a few games and then you have a couple of games off. Georgi’s performed well consistently. The supporters love him, and that’s always a good sign. The people that watch every week, they know what they like, and Georgi’s a fan favorite.” — Joe Cole

IMAGE, MATT MAY/TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
“I knew pretty early on, probably about ten minutes into our first training session up at Shimberg when I had the misfortune of playing against him. I knew what a good player he was. You could see the way he moved with the ball, moved without it. I knew what a real talent he was going to be. It’s a privilege to have played with him. It’s a privilege to have coached him and I think that all the younger guys in our squad can look at him and see how he conducts himself. He’s one of the fittest, if not the fittest player in the ranks and I think that’s a credit to the way he looks after his body, not just when he’s here working with us, but when he’s at home with his family.” — Stuart Campbell