Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rowdies vs. Malmö FF (Exhibition Game)

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)

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)

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)

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