With just seven games remaining in the regular season, FC Tampa Bay is right in the thick of the battle for a playoff spot for the 2011 NASL postseason.
Here is a look at some of the highlights and leaders this season:
Home Field Advantage
Thanks to a great atmosphere at Al Lang Stadium, led by Ralph's Mob and the club's other fans, the team has been on a hot streak at home. FC Tampa Bay has won a club-record four consecutive matches at home and hasn't lost at home since June 4. Overall, FCTB has taken points eight times in its 11 home contests thus far in 2011.
Part of FC Tampa Bay's success so far has been its consistency. The team has lost back-to-back matches just once all year while putting together unbeaten streaks of three or more games on three different occasions. FC Tampa Bay is currently on a four-match unbeaten streak, matching its longest of the year. Last season, FC Tampa Bay had a club-record seven-game unbeaten streak in the month of May, but had just one other unbeaten streak of more than two games for the rest of the season.
During FC Tampa Bay's recent run of success, getting off to a fast start has been a common theme. The team has scored at least one first-half goal in its last eight consecutive games, and the club has posted a 5-2-1 (W-T-L) record over that span. In the first 13 matches of the season, FC Tampa Bay scored a total of four first-half goals overall.
First Half Goals
First 13 Games: 4 goals, 3-5-5 record (W-T-L)
Last 8 Games: 9 goals, 5-2-1 record (W-T-L)
Scoring first has led to good results for FC Tampa Bay this season. FCTB has scored the first goal in 12 of its 21 matches, and has earned points in all but one of those games. FC Tampa Bay has seven wins, four ties and just one loss when it scores first in a match. By contrast, five of FCTB's six losses took place with the opponent scoring first.
2011 Record When: W-T-L
Scoring First: 7-4-1
Opponent Scores First: 1-1-5
Shuffling the Deck
FC Tampa Bay head coach Ricky Hill and assistant coach David Hayes have had a difficult task filling out the lineup sheet many times this season because of injuries. The coaching staff has adjusted quite well despite having to start 17 different starting lineups in its 21 matches, with 21 players starting two or more matches for the team this season. In fact, on only four occasions has FC Tampa Bay been able to line up the same starting 11 in back-to-back matches.
2011 TEAM LEADERS