Monday, 30 March 2015

Rowdies vs. Jacksonville Armada FC (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES DEFEAT JACKSONVILLE ARMADA 2-0
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 28, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies appear ready to open the 2015 North American Soccer League season following a 2-0 road win over Jacksonville Armada FC at EverBank Field on Saturday evening.
Keith Savage and Brian Shriver scored on either side of the halftime break to beat the Armada and run Tampa Bay’s preseason record to 7-2-2. The Rowdies open the NASL Spring Season next Saturday night in San Antonio against the defending champion Scorpions.
The Rowdies yielded a lot of possession to Jacksonville throughout the match, content to bend but not break defensively and then spring forward when the chance presented itself.
Jacksonville only forced Rowdies goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky into one save in the opening 45 minutes.
In the 14th minute, Venezuelan winger Robert Hernandez flashed his speed and crossed a ball into the box for Maicon Santos, but the ball was just behind the big Brazilian forward and the chance went away.
Six minutes later, it was Santos crossing a ball in for Hernandez, but again the ball wasn’t quite perfect and Jacksonville was able to clear it away.
Santos very nearly broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, again off a cross by Hernandez, beating Sierra with his shot, but missing the far post by a matter of inches.
Savage scored his second goal of the preseason just before the halftime break when the Rowdies won a throw-in deep in Armada territory. Corey Hertzog delivered a long throw-in, which was glanced on by Stefan Antonijevic and straight to Savage a few yards out from the goal line. Savage tapped it past goalkeeper David Sierra and over the line to put Tampa Bay up 1-0 just before halftime.
Protecting a 1-0 lead in the second half, the Rowdies made mass substitutions and again seemed happy to let Jacksonville possess the ball and defend as a unit. Forward Brian Shriver’s entrance into the match immediately led the Rowdies doubling the lead.
Shriver checked in the 55th minute and scored with his first touch in the 58th minute, heading a perfect cross from Hernandez down and past Jacksonville goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. It was Shriver’s second goal in as many matches this week.
Now up 2-0, the Rowdies really worked on protecting a lead and closing out the match.
Jacksonville couldn’t break through and only recorded one shot in the second half.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Keith Savage - 43rd minute (assisted by Stefan Antonijevic)
Rowdies: Brian Shriver - 58th minute (assisted by Robert Hernandez)

Lineups:
Rowdies: Contofalsky; King (Fernandez 80'), Mkandawire (Michaud 87'), Antonijevic (Rusin 82'), Portillos (Sweat 63'); Saragosa (Guerra 61'), Savage (Chavez 75'), Hristov (Valimaa 59'); Hernandez (Nunez 62'), Santos (Espinal 43'), Hertzog (Shriver 55')

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES DEFEAT FC EDMONTON 2-1 IN PRESEASON FRIENDLY
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 25, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies picked up their sixth win of the preseason Wednesday night, topping FC Edmonton 2-1 at Jacksonville University in the Armada FC Four-Team Challenge.
Both Rowdies goals, scored by Georgi Hristov and Brian Shriver, were direct results of working hard to win the ball back from defenders in front of the opposition net.
The Rowdies didn’t field a full-strength team and battled through a physically demanding first half. Five players were cautioned in the opening 45 minutes for rough play. Neither side carved out many clear-cut chances in the opening period and neither scored.
For both teams, it was their first test against NASL-level competition this preseason.
The second half was much more fluid and featured all three goals.
Justin Chavez helped the Rowdies to their first goal of the match, chasing down a ball in Edmonton’s box and earning a penalty kick. Eddies defender Marko Aleksic thought he was alone, jogging toward a ball to clear it, but Chavez was just behind him, and when Aleksic swung his leg to clear the ball, he instead kicked Chavez’s body to concede the penalty.
Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov scored the penalty high into Edmonton’s net for a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead in the 65th minute.
The Rowdies ran into trouble in the 74th minute, when Edmonton played a long ball forward and caught Gale Agbossoumonde in a tough position. As he recovered, Agbossoumonde made too much contact with FCE’s Frank Jonke, conceding a penalty.
Eddies captain Ritchie Jones stepped up to take the penalty, but Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens guessed right and saved it to preserve Tampa Bay’s lead.
Just a minute later, Sadi Jalali got into space to take another shot on goal, but again, Pickens was in the right spot to make the save.
In the 84th minute, more pressure from the Rowdies forwards forced an error in Edmonton’s defense.
Tampa Bay forward Darwin Espinal put heavy pressure on the Eddies and intercepted a pass between defenders 30 yards from goal. Espinal squared a ball into empty space for Brian Shriver to run onto. Shriver took a couple of touches before slotting it past John Smits in net to put the Rowdies up 2-0.
The Rowdies were just minutes from keeping a clean sheet, but a Lance Laing free kick in stoppage time found Jonke for a header past Pickens and into the net.

Scoring Summary: 
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov - 65th minute (Penalty Kick)
Rowdies: Brian Shriver - 84th minute
FC Edmonton: Frank Jonke - 91st minute

Lineups:
Rowdies: Pickens (C); King (Boggs 46'), Rusin, Agbossoumonde, Sweat; Chavez, Guerra, Nuñez; Shriver, Michaud (Hristov 61'), Hernandez (Espinal 46')
Edmonton: VanOekel (Smits 61'); Edward (Smith 87'), Moses (Roberts 87'), Roberts (Aleksic 61'), Smith (Zebie 61'); Raudales, Hauksson (Burt 61'), Jones, Fordyce (Sadi 61'), Laing; Ameobi (Jonke 61')

Monday, 23 March 2015

Rowdies vs. University of South Florida Bulls (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES TOP USF BULLS 4-1 IN PRESEASON FRIENDLY
TAMPA, Fla. (March 21, 2015) — For the second time this week, the Tampa Bay Rowdies picked up a 4-1 preseason win over local college competition, topping the University of South Florida Bulls at Corbett Stadium on Saturday night.
With 14 days left in the preseason, the Rowdies are now 5-2-2 this preseason. The Rowdies topped the University of Tampa 4-1 on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay has two matches left before the season opener against the San Antonio Scorpions in Texas on April 4.
Maicon Santos, Corey Hertzog and Martin Nuñez all scored for the Rowdies. Tampa Bay also benefitted from a Bulls own goal in the first half. Brendan Hines-Ike converted a second-half penalty kick to put the Bulls on the board.
The Rowdies got off to a flying start, with Santos scoring a tap-in just three minutes into the match. The big Brazilian forward stole the ball off a USF defender, calmly rounded the keeper and passed the ball into the net for the opening goal. Santos has now scored goals in four consecutive matches for the Rowdies.
Tampa Bay stayed on the front foot, taking the match to the Bulls and forcing USF to defend for much of the first half. Trialist midfielder Verneri Valimaa raced to the byline and slotted a pass back across the face of goal, where a Bulls defender accidentally put it into his own net to put the Rowdies up 2-0 in the 13th minute.
Two minutes before halftime, Hertzog added a goal on an assist by Darnell King. Hertzog has now scored in back-to-back matches.
In the 62nd minute, Hines-Ike converted his penalty kick to cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Rowdies weren’t done shooting yet.
Less than 10 minutes later, second-half substitute Nuñez bent a free kick around the USF defensive wall and into the net for a 4-1 lead in the 71st minute.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Maicon Santos - 3rd minute (unassisted)
Rowdies: Own Goal - 18th minute
Rowdies: Corey Hertzog - 43rd minute (assisted by Darnell King)
USF: Brendan Hines-Ike - 62nd minute (penalty kick)
Rowdies: Martin Nuñez  - 62nd minute (unassisted)

Lineups:
Rowdies: Contofalsky; King (Fernandez 82'), Mkandawire (Agbossoumonde 71'), Antonijevic (Rusin 82'), Sweat; Savage (Guerra 71'), Valimaa* (Chavez 77'), Espinal (Nuñez 46'); Boggs  (Shriver 71'), Santos, Hertzog (Michaud 71')
*indicates trialist

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rowdies vs. University of Tampa Spartans (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES TOP UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA SPARTANS 4-1
TAMPA, Fla. (March 18, 2015)  —  Patient and controlled team play helped the Tampa Bay Rowdies top the University of Tampa Spartans 4-1 on Wednesday night as preparations for the 2015 North American Soccer League season continued.
Maicon Santos grabbed a pair of first-half goals — including a stunning lob from 40 yards out — and  Corey Hertzog and Jeffrey Michaud added tallies to earn the Rowdies their fourth win of the preseason campaign.
The Rowdies were patient all night, content to control the ball and move it around while searching for an entry toward goal.
Santos put Tampa Bay on the board first, rising to meet a Hertzog header off a corner kick in the 10th minute. It was his third consecutive match with a goal.
After playing provider on the first goal, Hertzog both earned and converted a penalty kick in the 18th minute, scoring low to the keeper’s right-hand side to put the Rowdies up 2-0 inside 20 minutes.
Santos grabbed his fourth goal of the preseason with an opportunistic strike in the 42nd minute. He received the ball just over the halfway line and spotted the Spartans keeper well off his line. Santos quickly lobbed an effort 40 yards over the keeper and into the net, drawing loud “oohs” from the crowd for a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans came back into the match in the 63rd minute, with forward Chris Campbell ripping the ball off a defender and placing a shot perfectly into the corner of the net.
The match seemed destined to end 3-1, but for a moment of magic from Jeff Michaud in stoppage time. The Rowdies rookie blasted a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box into the far netting to make the score 4-1.

Scoring summary:
Rowdies: Maicon Santos - 10th minute (assisted by Corey Hertzog)
Rowdies: Corey Hertzog - 18th minute (penalty kick)
Rowdies: Maicon Santos - 42nd minute (assisted by Rich Balchan)
UT: Chris Campbell - 63rd minute
Rowdies: Jeff Michaud - 90th minute (assisted by Martin Nuñez)

Lineups:
Rowdies First Half: Contofalsky; Balchan, Mkandawire (c), Antonijevic, Portillos; Chavez, Savage, Espinal; Boggs, Santos, Hertzog
Rowdies Second Half: Pickens; Fernandez, Agbossoumonde, Rusin (c), Sweat; Valimaa*, Guerra, Nuñez; King, Shriver, Michaud
* Indicates trialist 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Rowdies vs. FC Montreal (Exhibition Game)

MAICON SANTOS SCORES IN 1-1 DRAW WITH FC MONTREAL
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 13, 2015) — Maicon Santos earned the Tampa Bay Rowdies a 1-1 draw against FC Montreal in a closed-door scrimmage at Al Lang Stadium on Friday afternoon.
FC Montreal is the reserve side for Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact and competes in the USL.
The Rowdies started the match on the front foot, piling pressure on the visitors right away. Apart from an FC Montreal free kick in the 12th minute, the Rowdies had every scoring chance in the first 45 minutes. On the half hour mark, midfielder Jeff Michaud ripped a shot from outside the box that just climbed over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Corey Hertzog beat his defender and raced into the box, where he drew significant contact but was not awarded a penalty kick. On the ensuing corner kick, Stefan Antonijevic directed a header just wide of the near post.
Martin Nuñez hit the goalpost with a free kick late in the half, but the score was still even at 0-0 at the break.
Montreal’s Victor N’Diaye gave the away side a quick lead in the second half, capitalizing on a mistake in the Rowdies backline in the 46th minute.
Santos had a chance at pulling Tampa Bay level in the 54th minute, but sent his free kick from the corner of the box into the wall.
In the 68th minute, Santos made good on another chance, running onto a Keith Savage through ball and rounding the goalkeeper before finishing with his left foot to tie the match 1-1.
Tampa Bay had a couple chances at winning the match late on, but had to settle for a draw.

Rowdies vs. Alcanenense (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES DRAW 1-1 WITH ALCANENENSE IN FINAL PORTUGAL MATCH
RIO MAIOR, Portugal (March 6, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies will be coming home Sunday from the preseason tour of Portugal with two wins, a loss and now a draw following Friday’s 1-1 deadlock against Alcanenense in Rio Maior.
Maicon Santos scored his first goal of the preseason in the first half, nodding home a Georgi Hristov corner kick with his head in the 15th minute. Alcanenense tied the match with a penalty kick in the 66th minute. Neither team would score again.
Rowdies Head Coach Thomas Rongen selected a strong starting lineup for the match, picking an XI based on the best performers from the Rowdies’ first three matches in Portugal. Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa wore the captain’s armband.
The Rowdies started the match slowly, possessing the ball for long stretches but without a cutting edge to create viable scoring chances.
Hristov’s corner kick on the quarter hour mark broke the match open, with tall Brazilian forward Maicon Santos leaping to meet the ball with a glancing header toward the back post and beyond Alcanenense’s goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.
The Rowdies made four changes at the half and were forced into a fifth very quickly when Tamika Mkandawire clashed legs with another player and was withdrawn from the match for precautionary reasons. He is not expected to miss practice Saturday.
With the team undergoing changes, it took some time for the Rowdies to settle into the second half.
Young forward Darwin Espinal provided a consistent outlet down the right wing after halftime, creating numerous scoring chances with his speed. A couple of times, Espinal would beat his defender one-on-one, dribble into the box and cross for a teammate to shoot. JeffMichaud and Hristov each had scoring opportunities created by Espinal, but both sent their efforts just over the crossbar.
With the final whistle, the playing portion of the Rowdies’ tour of Portugal ended. The team has one full day left in Rio Maior before returning home to Tampa Bay on Sunday night.

Lineup:
Rowdies: Contofalsky; King (Chavez 46’), Mkandawire (Agbossoumonde 53’), Antonijevic (Rusin 46’), Sweat; Saragosa (c) (Guerra 74’), Savage (Michaud 46’), Hristov; Boggs (Nunez 46’), Santos (Shriver 70’), Espinal

Friday, 6 March 2015

Rowdies vs. Sporting Lisbon B (Exhibition Game)

ESPINAL AND BOGGS SCORE IN 3-2 LOSS TO SPORTING LISBON B
ALCOCHETE, Portugal (March 4, 2015) — A late free kick goal scored in the final minutes by Sporting B doomed the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a 3-2 loss Wednesday morning at Sporting Lisbon’s Academy. It was the Rowdies’ first loss in three preseason matches in Portugal.
Sporting B opened the match well, scoring just 12 minutes in on a nice piece of movement from the pacey right winger to get behind the Rowdies defensive line and create space for a shot, which he scored.
Sporting B is in midseason form, having already played 31 matches this year in the Segunda Liga, Portugal’s second division. The team currently sits in ninth place.
The Rowdies responded quickly though with committed team defense leading to offense. Sporting was awarded a throw-in deep in its own end and the Rowdies pinched in and put heavy pressure on the ball. Sporting turned it over and Tampa Bay’s Darwin Espinal received the ball with back to goal on the corner of the 18-yard box. Espinal spun and shot so quickly, Sporting’s goalkeeper was left flat-footed as he turned to watch the ball sail past him and into the far netting to tie up the matchin the 20th minute.
Tampa Bay’s starters continued to hold their own against Sporting before being replaced with a second unit of players on the hour mark. Chris Glodack, Ben Sweat and Espinal were the only players to play all 90 minutes.
Espinal nearly gave the Rowdies a lead in the 82nd minute, shooting hard on target and forcing Sporting’s goalkeeper to make a save. The goalkeeper was able to get a touch on the ball, but it popped high above him and appeared set to bounce over the line before a Sporting defender recovered to clear it away a yard in front of the goal line.
With the score still tied 1-1, Sporting once again took a lead in the 83rd minute on a cross from the right wing that found a friendly foot at the back post for a simple tap-in.
Still fighting hard for a result, the Rowdies didn’t have to wait long for the equalizer.
Zak Boggs tied the match just a minute later on an assist from Martin Nuñez in the 83rd minute. The goal looked very similar to one Keith Savage scored against Benfica U-20 on Tuesday, with Nuñez passing the ball from the byline back toward the penalty spot for Boggs to first-time past the goalkeeper.
It looked like the Rowdies would earn a draw until a Sporting free kick in the closing minutes bent around the wall and into the net to give Sporting a 3-2 win.

Rowdies Lineup: Glodack; Fernandez (King 60’), Mkandawire (Agbossoumonde 60’), Rusin (Antonijevic 60’), Sweat; Michaud (Nuñez 60’), Guerra (Saragosa 60’), Chavez (Savage 60’); Shriver (Boggs 60’), Espinal, Wuthrich* (Santos 60’)
* indicates trialist

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Rowdies vs. SL Benfica’s U-20s (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES BEAT BENFICA U-20 3-1 IN SECOND MATCH OF PORTUGAL TOUR
SEIXAL, Portugal (March 3, 2015)  —  Another match, another win.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies notched win number two on their preseason tour of Portugal on Tuesday morning with a 3-1 victory over SL Benfica’s U-20 team. The Rowdies are now 2-0-0 on the trip, having previously defeated CD Fatima on Sunday.
The match was played under perfect skies at a beautiful venue, SL Benfica’s Academy Complex in Seixal, just across the Rio Tagus from the capital city of Lisbon.
Coach Thomas Rongen changed the format of his team from the previous preseason matches, opting to let an 11-man unit play an hour, before being replaced by a second unit to play the last 30 minutes. In previous matches, each unit got 45 minutes.
The starting XI was captained by midfielder Marcelo Saragosa.
After a few minutes of uneasiness that allowed Benfica to settle on the ball and possess it, the Rowdies got themselves into the match and confidence started to soar.
Georgi Hristov gave Tampa Bay a great start, racing into the box in the 10th minute and earning a penalty kick after being brought down by the goalkeeper. Hristov converted the subsequent penalty to give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead early.
Ten minutes later, Hristov was the creator of another Rowdies goal. He chased a long ball over the top to the byline, cleverly sliding to get a foot around the ball before it rolled over the line for a Benfica goal kick. Hristov then slotted a pass back toward the penalty spot, where midfielder Keith Savage first-timed it hard into the net for a 2-0 Rowdies lead.
The rest of the first half was pretty even, though Benfica struggled to create scoring opportunities on its own. Its best chances came on free kicks around the box, though the Rowdies quickly organized to defend the free kicks and allow few shots on target.
Shortly after half time, the referee awarded Benfica a penalty kick of its own, which was converted to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Rowdies.
After the mass substitutions on the hour mark, the Rowdies were again the dominant team, creating chance after chance and peppering Benfica’s net.
Zak Boggs nearly made the score 3-1 tapping a rebound off the underside of the crossbar and over the line, but the assistant referee adjudged him to have been in an offside position on the initial shot and waived the goal off.
The Rowdies would get their third goal though, with 20-year forward Darwin Espinal taking advantage of a Benfica mistake and breaking away toward goal. After rounding the goalkeeper, Espinal stopped the ball on a dime to tap it around a defender that had recovered, leaving the defender on his back as Espinal confidently laced the ball into the net for a 3-1 win.
It was Espinal’s first goal as a member of the Rowdies.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Rowdies vs. CD Fatima (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES TOP CD FATIMA 1-0 ON LATE PORTILLOS GOAL
FATIMA, Portugal (March 1, 2015) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ preseason tour of Portugal is off to a flying start courtesy of an impressive shift by rookie left back Zac Portillos in Tampa Bay’s 1-0 win over CD Fatima on Sunday morning.
After a couple of days adapting to Portugal in training, Tampa Bay’s match against Fatima was the first of four friendlies the club will play this week.
As in the two preseason friendlies, Head Coach Thomas Rongen played a split-squad, making 10 substitutions at halftime to ensure everyone who dressed for the match 45 minutes of game time. Portillos was the only player to play 90 minutes.
The first half lineup was captained by midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, who was one of six signed players to make their preseason debut Sunday. Juan Guerra, Georgi Hristov, Maicon Santos, Brad Rusin and Darwin Espinal also got their first minutes of the preseason under their belt in the win.
Santos had the best chance at a goal in the first half, receiving an excellent ball from Hristov on the penalty spot, but his first-time shot went inches wide of the goal post. Fatima didn’t threaten much, with the Rowdies comfortably controlling the match for long stretches.
Keith Savage, now the longest-tenured Rowdies player, wore the captain’s armband in the second half, which the Rowdies played extremely aggressive with a nose for goal. If not for a couple of very close offside calls, Tampa Bay could have put a few goals on the board with 20-yard Darwin Espinal just a touch early on several runs through the defense.
Portillos won the match for the Rowdies with an 85th minute goal assisted by Jeff Michaud. Portillos raced down the left flank with the ball at his feet before passing it inside to Michaud and continuing his run. Michaud played a perfectly weighted through ball for Portillos, who kept his balance after contact from a defender. Portillos rounded the diving keeper and slotted his first professional goal home with his right foot to put an exclamation mark on an impressive showing all match.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Zac Portillos – 85th Minute (Assisted by Jeff Michaud)

Lineups:
Rowdies First Half: Contofalsky; Balchan*, Mkandawire, Antonijevic, Portillos; Guerra, Saragosa, King; Hristov, Santos, Nuñez
Second Half: Glodack; Fernandez, Agbossoumonde, Rusin, Portillos; Michaud, Savage, Wuthrich*; Shriver, Espinal, Boggs
* Indicates trialist 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rowdies vs. Malmö FF (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES DROP SECOND PRESEASON MATCH AGAINST MALMO FF
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies were second best Thursday night, falling 4-0 to Swedish powerhouse Malmö FF 4-0 in an exhibition match at IMG Academy Stadium.
Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen again played a trialist-heavy lineup to assess players early with nearly two months still remaining before the Rowdies’ 2015 North American Soccer League season opener on April 4 in San Antonio. Four trialists started the match and 10 of 12 players to appear in the second half were trialists.
The teams played a well-contested first 30 minutes, with the Rowdies standing toe-to-toe with the reigning Swedish champions. Malmö FF is the winningest team in Sweden, with 21 Allsvenskan league championships to its name. The club competed in the group stage of the 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League against Atletico Madrid (Spain,) Juventus (Italy) and Olympiacos (Greece.)
With the match scoreless through 30 minutes, Malmö’s Magnus Wolf Eikrem opened the scoring after a Rowdies defensive lapse in the 32nd minute. Malmö was awarded a free kick near the corner flag and took it quickly, delivering the ball in to Eikrem before the Rowdies had set up defensively. Eikrem turned and fired on goal. Trialist goalkeeper Chris Glodack got a glove on it, but was unable to stop the shot.
Malmö doubled the lead in the 42nd minute when Markus Rosenberg found space in the box for a shot. The Swedes were back at it just a minute later when Erik Johansson headed a corner kick past Glodack for Malmö’s third goal.
The second half was much choppier, but the Rowdies again held their own against the Europeans. Pawel Cibicki scored Malmö’s only goal of the second half in the 69th minute.
The Rowdies had several scoring chances themselves, but were ultimately unable to beat goalkeeper Robin Olssen on the night, falling 4-0.

Scoring Summary:
Malmo - Eikrem - 32 Minute (Assisted by Yotun)
Malmo - Rosenberg - 42 Minute (Assisted by Berget)
Malmo - Johansson - 43rd Minute (Assisted by Eikrem)
Malmo - Cibicki - 69th minute (Assisted by Rosenberg)

Lineups;
Malmo FF: Olsen; Tinnerholm (Konate 46'), Johansson, Helander, Yotun (Hammar 67'); Sana (Johansson 67'), Adu (Cibicki 46'), Lewicki, Eikrem; Rosenberg (Rakip '77), Berget (Mehmeti 77')
Rowdies First Half: Glodack*; King, Yamada*, Agbossoumonde, Portillos*; Chavez, Nuñez, Savage; Shriver, Barbara*, Hertzog
Rowdies Second Half: Glodack*; Balchin*, Yamada* (Gonzalez 67'), Antonijevic, Barrientos*; Michaud*, Fernandez*, Paez*; Hernandez, Walker*, Boggs*
* Indicates trialist 

Rowdies vs. Philadelphia Union (Exhibition Game)

ROWDIES DEFEAT PHILADELPHIA UNION 1-0 IN FIRST PRESEASON MATCH
CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 10, 2015) — Head Coach Thomas Rongen and the Tampa Bay Rowdies opened their preseason campaign the right way with a 1-0 win over Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union on a chilly Tuesday night at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex. Rowdies forward Corey Hertzog’s 67th minute penalty was the difference between the sides.
With nearly two months still to go before Tampa Bay opens the North American Soccer League season, the Rowdies used Tuesday night as a chance to look at as many players as possible. The Rowdies’ starting lineup featured eight trialists. Rongen substituted all 10 outfield players at halftime, with only four trialists playing the second 45 minutes. Trialist goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky was the only player to play all 90.
“It’s preseason, but it’s still important to get off on the right foot and there’s a lot of positives we can take from tonight,” Rongen said.
The Union played a particularly strong lineup from the start with Maurice Edu, CJ Sapong and Sebastian Le Toux all included.
Centerbacks Tamika Mkandawire and Gale Agbossoumonde showed great chemistry in the first half. Philadelphia enjoyed much of the possession early on, but the Rowdies absorbed the pressure well to keep the Union off the board. A front line consisting of Zak Boggs, Amani Walker and Brian Shriver created its fair share of dangerous chances but was unable to break through.
“Playing against an MLS team, our two units more than held their own,” Rongen said. “It was their first time playing together and I think they deserve great credit.”
The night’s decisive moment came in the 67th minute when the Rowdies won a free kick in a dangerous spot. As the delivery was sent in, Justin Chavez was pulled to the ground by Philadelphia’s Michael Lahoud. The referee awarded Tampa Bay a penalty and Hertzog, originally from the Pennsylvania area, slotted it hard to the bottom right corner of the net for the go-ahead goal.
The Union responded well and had a couple of notable scoring chances late in the match, but the Rowdies closed it well to post a clean sheet.
“The team achieved the goals we set for them before the match,” Rongen said. “The players stuck to the points we made beforehand and it was a very pleasing performance. It’s pleasing to get a win under our belts.”

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Corey Hertzog - 67th Minute (Penalty Kick)

Lineups:
Union: McCarthy; Gaddis, Vitoria, White, Williams; Edu, Nogueira; Wenger, Maidana, Le Toux; Sapong.
Rowdies First Half: Contofalsky*; Yamada*, Agbossoumonde, Mkandawire, Barrientos*; Michaud*, Gonzalez*, Paez*; Shriver, Walker*, Boggs*
Rowdies Second Half: Contofalsky*; King, Chavez, Antonijevic, Portillos*; Savage, Fernandes*, Nuñez; Hertzog, Barbara*, Wagner
*Indicates trialist

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Rowdies Press Photos - Luis Fernando

Luis Fernando in full flight, during 1983 at Tampa Stadium.

Rowdies Press Photos - Rowdies vs. Cosmos Scuffle

Wes McLeod and Jan Van Der Veen act as peacekeepers, whilst Oscar Fabbiani picks himself up, during a game against the New York Cosmos at Tampa Stadium in 1980.

Rowdies Press Photos - Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson outjumps New York Cosmos' Werner Roth, at Giants Stadium in 1978. Watched on by Wes McLeod.

Rowdies Memorabilia - John Sissons 1970 My Favourite Soccer Stars Card

John Sissons' 1970 My Favourite Soccer Stars Card, whilst he was at Sheffield Wednesday.

Rowdies Press Photos - Kevin Eagan

Kevin Eagan in action during 1977.

Rowdies vs. Indy Eleven

ROWDIES AND INDY ELEVEN DRAW 2-2 AFTER WILD CLOSING MINUTES
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies closed out the 2014 season with a wild couple of minutes at Al Lang Stadium. Goals in the 88th and 89th minutes, first by the Indy Eleven and then the Rowdies, saw the season end with a 2-2 draw in front of 6,377 fans on a chilly night in St. Petersburg.
The Rowdies led 1-0 at halftime, only for Indy to equalize in the 47th minute and then take a lead in the 88th minute. The Rowdies stormed back to close the season with a point courtesy of Amani Walker's game-tying goal just a minute later.
"I'm disappointed with the outcome tonight of a 2-all draw," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "We would have loved to send our great fans home with a victory which they deserved."
Rowdies midfielder Evans Frimpong put the Rowdies up 1-0 on the Eleven in the 17th minute. Frimpong scored both goals in last Saturday's 2-2 draw with the New York Cosmos, so at that point, Frimpong has scored each of the Rowdies' last three goals dating back to last week. Bulgarian forward Georgi Hristov collected his fourth assist of the season as he laid the ball off to Frimpong, advancing on goal from the right wing. Frimpong took one touch to set himself up for a shot, which bounced up and out of reach over Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht before settling into the far netting of the goal.
The Rowdies' lead was nearly doubled in the 29th minute when Hristov sent in a cross from the right wing. Eleven captain Erick Norales met the cross at the far post and chested it just a few inches away from his own net to keep Tampa Bay's lead at 1-0.
Indy came out of the locker room fighting in the second half and it didn't take long for it to find its way back into the match. The Eleven sent in a corner kick in the 47th minute, which was initially cleared by the Rowdies defense, but only to just outside the 18-yard box. Indy midfielder Don Smart was quickest to react and blasted a first-time shot past Matt Pickens in Tampa Bay's net to level the match at 1-1.
The match stayed even at 1-1 for nearly the rest of the match before Jhulliam gave the Eleven a lead in the 88th minute. Victor Pineda's perfectly-timed pass saw Jhulliam beat the offside trap and find space behind the backline where he collected the ball and slid a shot underneath Pickens to put Indy ahead late.
"I'm delighted with the courage the players showed after going 2-1 down with three or four minutes left to go," Hill said. "They still were able to raise their game with Amani coming on and scoring a lovely goal for us to get us back in it."
Tampa Bay didn't give up though and Indy's lead didn't last long. 
Rowdies left back Blake Wagner took a free kick in the 89th minute that found Amani Walker at the back post, but headed past Nicht to tie the match up again at 2-2 just before stoppage time for the last Rowdies goal of the season as the match ended 2-2.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 17th minute (Assisted by Georgi Hristov)
Indy: Don Smart- 47th minute
Indy: Jhulliam- 88th minute (Assisted by Victor Pineda)
Rowdies: Amani Walker- 89th minute (Assisted by Blake Wagner)
Lineups:
Rowdies: Pickens; Sanfilippo (c), TMkandawire, Yamada, Wagner; Frimpong, Savage, Wallace, Shriver (Mkosana 72'); Olguin (Walker 72'), Hristov
Indy Eleven: Nicht; Franco, Miller, Norales (c) (Okiomah 77'), Frias; Smart, Pineda, Mares (Moore 90'), Smith (Jhulliam 71'); Rugg, Ambersley

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Rowdies Snap Shots - Tim Walters and Steve Wegerle

A snap shot from an 1986-87 AISA game against the Canton Invaders, showing Tim Walters and Steve Wegerle.
Many thanks To Dave Morrison for this photo.

Rowdies Press Photos - Jan Van Der Veen

Jan Van Der Veen holds off New York Cosmos' Giorgio Chinaglia, at Tampa Stadium in 1980.

Rowdies Press Photos - Wes Mcleod

Wes McLeod watches as New York Cosmos' Franz Beckenbauer head the ball out of defence, at Giants Stadium in 1978.

Rowdies Memorabilia - John Sissons Poster

A poster of John Sissons, whilst with West Ham United, taken from a 1968 edition of Jimmy Hill Football Magazine.

Rowdies Press Photos - Rodney Marsh

Rodney Marsh, directed by England trainer Harold  Sheperdson, runs out at Wembley to make his International debut in 1971.
Many thanks to David Hoebarth for this photo.

Rowdies vs. New York Cosmos

ROWDIES AND COSMOS DRAW 2-2 AFTER LATE FRIMPONG EQUALIZER
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies and New York Cosmos played to an entertaining 2-2 draw at James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday night. Rowdies midfielder Evans Frimpong scored a brace, including a 90th minute equalizer that made it 2-2.
Tampa Bay midfielder Evans Frimpong gave the Rowdies a lead in the 25th minute, but it was very short-lived. Two minutes later, Hagop Chirishian capitalized on a Rowdies defensive mistake to pull the Cosmos level.
Midfielder Darel Russell delivered a free kick from far out in the right channel, but the diminutive Frimpong outleaped New York goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to head it into the net and give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead. It was Frimpong’s first goal of the season.
"I was delighted with the start of the game in terms of taking the sting out of the game and making it difficult for the Cosmos, frustrating them slightly," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "We had the bonus of Evans getting in and scoring a big header to put us 1-nil up."
Chirishian was the beneficiary of a failed pass in the Rowdies’ defensive ranks in the 27th minute, racing onto the ball and running to the endline before finding space to shoot between Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens and his near post to score for New York.
"We shot ourselves in the foot to a degree," Hill said. "We had a chance to clear, we didn't clear and it ended up in the back of our net. Credit to the guys for regrouping and ensuring we wouldn't score again for the remainder of the half."
The Cosmos could have easily taken a lead in the 43rd minute, but forward Danny Mwanga missed a tap-in from close range.
The second half got off to a quick start as midfielder Marcos Senna gave the Cosmos the lead off a perfectly executed free kick. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens dove left in search of getting a touch on the shot but there was nothing he could do. 
"When Marcos Senna is on the pitch, you always know that he's capable of doing what he's done tonight and what he did to us last year (with a similar goal,)" Hill said. 
Minutes later, the Rowdies would have a chance of their own with a Shriver header but goalkeeper Maurer was quick to get to the ball and avoid the equalizer. It was the Cosmos who nearly doubled their lead in the 62nd minute, when Stokkelien redirected a cross from the right flank. His touch went off the far post and traveled across the goalline until Rowdies defender Jordan Gafa cleared it out of the box.
The match became very physical as the play continued but it would be the Rowdies who created several chances in the final minutes of play. Second-half substitute Lucky Mkosana had two chances in the span of one minute, starting with a shot just inside the 18-yard box that was saved by Maurer. On the ensuing corner kick, the Zimbabwe native had yet another shot, this time it went over the bar and out for a goal kick.
"We had a gameplan to gradually introduce new, more offensive players as the game went on to see if we could get a goal back," Hill said. "Once again, through the efforts of all the guys sticking at it and believing we may be able to force an equalizer, we had good situations."
Seconds after the fourth official signaled four minutes of added time, Frimpong found his second goal of the match, capitalizing on a Maurer error. The Cosmos goalkeeper was able to clear the initial cross but the ball immediately was sent back into the heart of the box.  Maurer misplayed the bouncing ball and Frimpong was their to prounce on the rebound and equalize it for the visiting team.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 25th minute (assisted by Darel Russell)
New York: Hagop Chirishian - 27th minute (assisted by Sebastian Guenzatti)
New York: Marcos Senna - 49th minute
Rowdies: Evans Frimpong - 90th minute

Lineups:
Cosmos: Maurer; Mulligan, Freeman, Gorskie, Ayoze; Senna, Nane (Murphy 85'); Guenzatti, Denissen, Chirishian (Diaz 67'); Mwanga (Stokkelien 46')
Rowdies: Pickens; Gafa, Sanfilippo (c), Clinton, Wallace; Frimpong, Russell, Savage (Townsend 83'), Wagner (Mkosana 77'); Shriver, Olguin (Hertzog 69')

Monday, 20 October 2014

Rowdies Snap Shots - Tom Fitzgerald Memorial

Former Rowdies II player Tom Fitzgerald's memorial plaque, Tom sadly lost his life in a motorcylce accident in 2004.

Rowdies Press Photos - Mark Wright

Mark Wright (top) in action for Lynn University, during his 1984-87 spell there.
Many thanks to Mark Wright for this photo.

Rowdies Press Photos - Frantz Mathieu

Frantz Mathieu during a training session with the Chicago Sting, in 1980.

Rowdies Press Photos - The Wowdies

1979 Wowdies Pam Seals and RC Leto, enjoy the Aquamania Water Slide.

Rowdies Press Photos - Mike Connell

Mike Connell loses out to New York Cosmos' Franz Beckenbauer, at Giants Stadium in 1978.

Rowdies vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

ROWDIES AND SILVERBACKS PLAY OUT 1-1 DRAW IN ATLANTA
ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies drew 1-1 with the Atlanta Silverbacks on a chilly Saturday night at Silverbacks Park. Georgi Hristov's first-half goal put Tampa Bay ahead 1-0 at halftime, but Jaime Chavez's second-half goal pulled the Silverbacks level. Neither team would score again.
"On reflection, it's a good point won," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "Atlanta deserved something from the game because Matt Pickens played really well tonight and they hit the post on a couple of occasions. I was pleased with the shape of the side tonight, our organization and our on-field management. The players were all engaged with each other and they were working for each other. I was pleased with the way we responded to what has been a difficult time. It would have been nice to get three points, but it's nice to arrest that losing feeling and mentality. The guys feel a little more confident now and it's something we can definitely build on."
The Silverbacks opened the match as the better team and nearly grabbed the opening goal on a couple of occasions. 
Twelve minutes in, Silverbacks defender Alex Harlley shot past Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens, but his shot caromed off the goalpost toward the penalty spot. Jaime Chavez's effort went over Pickens and was goal-bound, but Rowdies right back Jordan Gafa was in position to clear it off the line.
Six minutes later, Atlanta's Jesus Gonzalez rocketed a shot off Pickens' crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, a miscommunication between Pickens and Frankie Sanfilippo gave Pablo Cruz space for a bicycle kick two yards out from goal, but his effort looped over the crossbar.
Facing test after test, the Rowdies defense bent, but didn't break. Pickens recorded seven saves on the night.
"The defense showed great resilience not to concede when Atlanta was playing really well," Hill said. "(Pickens) was called upon on more than a few occasions and came up trump for us. Kyle Clinton, Frankie Sanfilippo, Jordan Gafa and Blake Wagner, as well as Darel Russell and Keith Savage, put their bodies on the line to ensure that there were people there contesting things. When crosses came in, they put their heads where boots were flying, which is all that I can ask for. When they step on the field, they try the best they can and they play with their heart and soul for 90 minutes."
Rowdies forward Luciano Olguin received the ball in the box in the 38th minute with enough time to collect, turn and shoot, but his shot was blocked by a defender before reaching goal. The deflection bounced directly to Hristov's feet, who slotted home his ninth goal of the season. It was his second goal this week and third in the last five matches.
"Georgi looks like he's rounding into some serious form at this time," Hill said. "He worked ever so hard tonight and got his reward by scoring a goal."
After the halftime break, Atlanta again started as the more potent attacking side, finally finding its goal in the 54th minute as Shaka Bangura's looping cross from the byline found Chavez at the backpost for the game-tying tap-in.
The Rowdies inserted Lucky Mkosana and Casey Townsend into the match midway through the second half, with both causing some disruption within Atlanta's defense. The Rowdies put six shots on target in the match, with Silverbacks goalkeeper Thomas Hunter also putting in an impressive shift.
Hristov nearly scored his second goal of the night in the 74th minute, but his effort was wide of Atlanta's net.
"On another night, with a little more attention and incision at the vital times, we might have had more than one goal to show for it."
Atlanta's Junior Sandoval had a golden chance to score a go-ahead goal with a free kick from just outside the box in the 80th minute, but his shot was inches wide of the post.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies:: Georgi Hristov - 38th minute
Atlanta: Jaime Chavez - 54th minute (Assisted by Shaka Bangura)

Lineups:
Atlanta Silverbacks: Hunter; Harlley (Sousa 86'), Canovas, Bangura, Poltronieri; Gonzalez, Gavin, Burgos (McCaulay 73'), Cruz (Sandoval 68'); Chavez, Bangura
Rowdies: Pickens; Gafa, Sanfilippo, Clinton, Wagner; Hertzog (Mkosana 64'), Russell, Savage, Shriver (Frimpong 85'); Olguin (Townsend 72'), Hristov

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Rowdies Press Photos - Wes McLeod

Wes McLeod in action against the New York Cosmos, at Giants Stadium in 1978.

Rowdies Memorabilia - Ray Vigliotti Signed Card

A signed 1982-83 Ray Vigliotti card, whilst with the Whitita Wings.
Many thank to Ray Knisley for this photo.

Rowdies Press Photos - Mark Karpun

Mark Karpun challenges Chicago Stings' Mike Twellman, during the game in Chicago, in 1983. Watched on by Manny Rojas.

Signed Cards - 1982 Rowdies II Matt Meyer

Matt Meyer's signed Rowdies II card.

Rowdies Press Photos - Cylde Best

Clyde Best in action for Feyenoord against FC Amsterdam, Holland in 1977.
Many thanks to David Hoebarth for this photo.

Rowdies vs. Minnesota United FC

ROWDIES FALL 3-2 TO MINNESOTA UNITED FC
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies mounted a late comeback effort against league-leading Minnesota United FC, but ran out of time, losing 3-2 to the Loons.
The Rowdies had taken a 1-0 first-half only for Minnesota to equalize by halftime. A pair of Minnesota goals on either side of the hour mark gave the Loons a 3-1 lead. Rowdies forward Casey Townsend cut the deficit in half with a goal in the 90th minute, but referee Rubiel Vazquez ended the match before the Rowdies had time to score their third goal.
Tampa Bay forward Georgi Hristov put the Rowdies ahead in the 28th minute, but Loons forward Christian Ramirez leveled the score just before halftime in the 44th minute.
"Overall, it was a fairly good game," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "I was happy with the discipline our guys showed within the tactical structure that we set out during the last couple of days. They implented that really well in the first half and I felt Minnesota weren't really a threat at all during that period. Instead of being 1-nil at half time, which would have given us extra confidence and lift, we came in at 1-all from a long throw-in into our box. I asked my guys to give me another 45 minutes of discipline the way they did in the first half, but we came out in the second period a little bit cold."
Blake Wagner earned an assist on the Rowdies goal, collecting the ball and dragged it away from his defender and onto his back foot. He then sneakily poked the ball through to Hristov, sending him one-on-one against Minnesota goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. Hristov took a couple of dribbles to draw Van Oekel off his line, then slid the ball low past the goalkeepers' right hand to put the Rowdies up 1-0.
Hristov nearly had another one-on-one opportunity against Van Oekel in the 43rd minute, but Minnesota's last ditch defending did enough to prevent the Rowdies from taking a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Bay's lead nearly lasted until halftime, but a long throw-in by Brian Kallman deep in the Rowdies' half found Ramirez on the back post, who finished first-time past Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
A Minnesota defensive error in the 51st minute nearly gave Corey Hertzog a shot on goal after stealing an attempted clearance, but the ball ran just far enough away from him for Minnesota to successfully clear it.
In the 56th minute, Hristov intercepted a pass near midfield and started a quick attack with Luciano Olguin for support. Hristov slid the ball over to Olguin, who shot with his left foot, but it was saved by Van Oekel.
Minnesota's second goal, in the 58th minute, came in controversial fashion. Rowdies defender Anthony Wallace shielded Brian Kallman to the endline, with the ball appearing to roll past the endline and out of play before Kallman crossed to Ramirez, who finished past Pickens. The goal was Ramirez's league-high 19th of the season. 
"There's some dispute about whether the ball went over the line or not," Hill said. "At this level, you just continue playing to the whistle and that's it. We went 2-1 down and then, in quick succession, went 3-1 down without really being focused and intense enough in and around our box."
Eight minutes later, Juliano Vicentini extended Minnesota's lead to 3-1 with his first goal of the season. Ramirez and newly-minted United States Men's National Team member Miguel Ibarra combined well just outside the Rowdies' 18-yard box, but Tampa Bay defender Kyle Clinton stepped in and poked the ball away from Ibarra. The ball bounced directly to Aaron Pitchkolan, who slid it to Vicentini for a first-time finish and a 3-1 lead.
Tampa Bay made a pair of offensive-minded substitutions, sending Lucky Mkosana and Casey Townsend onto the field immediately after Vicentini's goal as it attempted to even the match once again. Those two would pair together for a goal in the 90th minute, as Mkosana's low cross from the left wing beat Minnesota's defenders. Townsend tapped it past Van Oekel from close range for his third goal of the season.
"The guys kept going and kept trying to prise things open," Hill said. "We didn't create enough opportunities to get back in the game, but we had a nice chance at the end that Casey converted well."
The Rowdies had one final chance to equalize before the end of the match, when Wallace took a free kick from 40 yards out, but his delivery was too long for the Rowdies to manage a shot.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Georgi Hristov- 28th minute (Assisted by Blake Wagner)
Minnesota: Christian Ramirez- 44th minute (Assisted by Brian Kallman)
Minnesota: Christian Ramirez- 58th minute (Assisted by Brian Kallman)
Minnesota: Juliano Vicentini- 66th minute (Assisted by Aaron Pitchkolan)
Rowdies: Casey Townsend- 90th minute (Assisted by Lucky Mkosana)

Lineups:
Rowdies: Pickens; Gafa, Clinton, Yamada, Wallace; Hertzog (Frimpong 90'), Russell, Savage, Wagner (Mkosana 66'); Olguin (Townsend 66'), Hristov
Minnesota: Van Oekel; Kallman, Calvano, Dias, Davis; Vicentini (Reed 71'), Franks (Ibarra 59'); Venegas (Mendes 79'), Pitchkolan (c), Daley; Ramirez

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Rowdies Press Photos - Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson in action against the New York Cosmos, at Giants Stadium in 1978.

Rowdies Memorabilia - Scott Buete Signed Card

A signed Scott Buete card whilst with the Baltimore Blast in 2007.
Many thank to Ray Knisley for this photo.

Rowdies Press Photos - Rowdies vs. Timbers Action

Portland Timbers' Robbie Rensenbrink is surrounded by Neill Roberts, Mike Connell and John Gorman, during a game in 1980.

Rowdies Memorabilia - 1990 Rowdies Schedule Poster

A 1990 Rowdies schedule poster, sponsored by the Tampa Tribune.
Many thanks to Craig Fossett for this photo. 

Rowdies Press Photos - Kevin Keelan

Norwich City's goalkeeper Kevin Keelan watches as Liverpool's David Fairclough celebrates scoring past him, from a game in 1976.
Many thanks to David Hoebarth for this photo.

Rowdies vs. San Antonio Scorpions

ROWDIES BEATEN 7-0 BY SCORPIONS IN SAN ANTONIO
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies were beaten 7-0 by the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday night at Toyota Field.
The Rowdies trailed 2-0 at halftime, but a quick red card and a flurry of goals were the story of the second half. Rafael Castillo, Cesar Elizondo and Eric Hassli each bagged braces for the Scorpions, in addition to Walter Restrepo's goal.
Within a minute of the start of the second half, Rowdies defender Tamika Mkandawire was shown a straight red card and dismissed from the match for a handball in the box. Castillo's 48th minute penalty kick put the Scorpions up 3-0 and the Rowdies were tasked with playing the remaining 42 minutes with 10 men.
"We were ball-watching and suddenly it's 3-nil and we've had a man sent off," Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. "From there on, it's an uphill battle. We struggled to stop San Antonio. Fair play to San Antonio for exploiting the situations that they had."
Up 3-0, Elizondo and Hassli traded two goals apiece as the Scorpions cruised to the finish and clinched their spot in The Championship.
In the first half, the Rowdies were burned by a couple of well-taken set pieces as Restrepo and Castillo scored the first-half goals.
Restrepo's goal came in the 28th minute when a Scorpions corner kick wasn't effectively cleared, dribbling weakly to the top of the box. Restrepo, charging forward, first-timed it past Matt Pickens in net for the opening goal.
Rafael Castillo doubled the lead just before halftime with a free kick that deflected off the top of the wall and into the net.

Scoring Summary:
San Antonio: Walter Restrepo - 28th minute
San Antonio: Rafael Castillo - 42nd minute
San Antonio: Rafael Castillo - 48th minute
San Antonio: Cesar Elizondo - 53rd minute (assisted by Giuseppe Gentile)
San Antonio: Eric Hassli - 67th minute (assisted by Walter Restrepo)
San Antonio: Cesar Elizondo - 73rd minute (assisted by Billy Forbes)
San Antonio: Eric Hassli - 77th minute

Lineups:
Scorpions: Saunders; James (Soto 78'), Janicki, Cann (c), DeRoux; Borrajo; Restrepo, Elizondo, Castillo, Forbes (Touray 75'); Gentile (Hassli 63')
Rowdies: Pickens; Rodrigues, Yamada, Mkandawire (c), Wallace; Frimpong, Hill (Russell 74'), Wagner, Morris (Mkosana 61'); Shriver, Townsend (Hertzog 51')

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Rowdies Press Photos - Mike Connell

Mike Connell is challenged by Houston Hurricane's Dean Smith, at Tampa Stadium in 1978.

Rowdies Memorabilia - Justin Channing 1990-91 Sun Soccer Card

Justin Channing's 1990-91 Sun Soccer card, whilst he was at QPR.

Rowdies Press Photos - Frank Worthington

Frank Worthington jumps with a New York Cosmos' defender, at Giants Stadium in 1981.

1983 McDonald's Promo Cards

Gregg Thompson 1983 McDonalds Promo card.

Rowdies Press Photos - 1990 Rowdies Rookies

1990 Rowdies Rookies - Giles Hooper, Craig Fossett, Michael Bates and Mike Coons.
Many thanks to Craig Fossett for this photo.

Rowdies vs. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers

ROWDIES FALL 3-2 AGAINST FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A couple of wild minutes doomed the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a 3-2 loss to the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers under a full moon at Al Lang Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Rowdies had a 2-0 lead late in the first half and seemed to be cruising toward a fifth-consecutive Coastal Cup when a Strikers substitution changed the path of the match. Fort Lauderdale midfielder Mark Anderson had to be taken out of the match after picking up an injury and was replaced by Shawn Chin in the 42nd minute.
A minute later, Chin set up former Rowdie Fafa Picault for Picault’s 10th goal of the season.
A minute after that, Chin again set up Picault for the forward’s 11th goal of the season, evening the match at 2-2.
Early in the second half, it was Picault who took a shot for his hat trick, but Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens was on the spot to make the save. The ball deflected to Chin, who kicked it into the net for a 3-2 Strikers lead in the 56th minute that the Rowdies wouldn’t recover from.
“It’s inexcusable for that to happen at home,” Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. “For whatever reason, there seems to be a mental blockage when we play at Al Lang. It’s not through the efforts of the fans and those who come out to support us. The fans encourage the players all the way through the game. We have a lot of work to do.”
Tampa Bay started the match well and it was defender Tamika Mkandawire that put the Rowdies ahead in the 11th minute, finishing past Strikers goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky after Keith Savage sent a header off the crossbar on Darel Russell’s free kick delivery. The goal was Mkandawire’s third of the season.
The Rowdies doubled their lead in the 38th minute when Savage took a free kick from the right channel, delivering it short to an unmarked Russell, who collected it with a touch before smashing it past Contofalsky for a 2-0 lead.
“We’ve had a few occasions this year where (that play) looked to be there, but we haven’t tried it,” Savage said. “It looked nice and there were two options, Darel Russell and one behind him. I was going for the one behind him and hoping for a little dummy, but (Russell) took a great touch and did it himself.”
This is the first time this season the Rowdies have lost a match after scoring first.
“When you give up a goal, you need to regroup and we didn’t,” Savage said. “They’ve got one guy (Picault) with a lot of pace. They didn’t even do anything special. They put it behind and he ran. That definitely hurt. We expected to come out and be the better team and we weren’t. (Picault) was up for the game and up for the challenge.”
The Rowdies aggressively sought an equalizing goal in the second half, sending wave after wave of attacks toward the Strikers defense, but Contofalsky made every save he needed to make.
In the 64th minute, Brian Shriver found space to take a shot from inside the 18-yard box and beat Contofalsky, but his effort caromed off the goal post and was eventually kicked out of play by the Strikers.
Ricardo Morris and Lucky Mkosana entered the match in the 65th minute as the Rowdies pushed forward, with Mkosana’s speed creating plenty of chances for Tampa Bay.
Mkosana’s best shot at tying the match came in the 72nd minute, when he lost his defender and received a cross from the right wing, redirecting it hard toward net with his first touch, but a last-ditch dive by Contofalsky kept it from crossing the line.
Second-half substitute Walter Ramirez nearly made it 4-2 in favor of the Strikers in the 79th minute, but Pickens made an excellent diving save to keep the Rowdies in the match.
After that, the Strikers dug deep in their own half with the Rowdies unable to find a way through the sea of defenders and start their comeback.
Picault was forced out of the match with an injury in the 86th minute. With the Strikers already out of substitutions, the Rowdies played the closing minutes with a man advantage but were unable to score an equalizing goal.

Scoring Summary:
Rowdies: Tamika Mkandawire - 10th minute
Rowdies: Darel Russell - 38th minute (Assisted by Keith Savage)
Fort Lauderdale: Fafa Picault - 43rd minute (Assisted by Shawn Chin)
Fort Lauderdale: Fafa Picault - 44th minute (Assisted by Shawn Chin)
Fort Lauderdale: Shawn Chin- 56th minute

Lineups:
Rowdies: Pickens; Gafa, Hunt (Rodrigues 46'), Mkandawire (c), Wallace; Frimpong, Russell, Savage (Morris 65'); Shriver, Hertzog (Mkosana 65'), Hristov 
Fort Lauderdale Strikers: Contofalsky; King, Alves, Antonijevic, Guerrero (c); Pecka, Marcelin; Anderson (Chin 42'), Brito (Nurse 67'), Nunez (Ramirez 75'); Picault

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Rowdies Press Photos - Mark Karpun

Mark Karpun in action, during an indoor game against the Montreal Manic in 1983.

Rowdies Memorabilia - 1989 Ticket Stub

A ticket stub from the game played at Tampa Stadium, against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on July 29th, 1989.
Many thanks to Patricia Scifres.

Rowdies Snap Shots - Winston DuBose and Steve Wegerle

A snap shot of Winston DuBose and Steve Wegerle at Tampa Stadium in 1981.
Many thanks to Patricia Scifres for this photo.