Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers
Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida
Tickets are still available - call 813-287-1539 or click here. The box office at the stadium opens at 4:30 p.m. on gameday.
The Rowdies Fan Zone and Beer Garden both open at 5:30 p.m.
Meet former Rowdies Refik Kozic, Neill Roberts and Steve Wegerle from 6:40-7:10 pm on the concourse at Al Lang Stadium.
The match can be seen live online at www.RowdiesSoccer.com - Play-by-Play: Mike Pepper
Tampa Bay Rowdies: 1-2-1, 5 points
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers: 2-2-0, 8 points
The Tampa Bay Rowdies host rival Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in their first meeting of this 2012 season. The Rowdies tied against Atlanta on Saturday and have been unbeaten in their last three matches. Ft. Lauderdale knocked off Puerto Rico, 3-2, on Wednesday night.
2011 Season Series
Tampa Bay was undefeated against the Strikers last season with a 3-1-0 mark (W-T-L), including a 2-0 victory in the final meeting of 2011 on September 24, where the Rowdies clinched the third seed in the NASL playoffs.
Rowdies Against the Strikers
Forward Mike Ambersley led Tampa Bay with eight points on three goals and two assists in four matches against the Strikers last season. Forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake notched two assists against the Strikers, while defender Andres Arango, forward Matt Clare and midfielder Keith Savage each added one goal in the series.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella posted two of his five shutouts against the Strikers, including clean sheets in the last two games. The Rowdies outscored Ft. Lauderdale for a combined score of 9-3 in their four meetings last season.
Scouting Ft. Lauderdale
The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers are undefeated after four contests in 2012 with a record of 2-2-0, good for second in the overall standings. They are coached by Daryl Shore, who has been at the helm since July of 2010. Shore led the Strikers to the 2011 NASL Championship Series, where they were defeated by Minnesota.
Forward Aly Hassan and Andy Herron are both tied for the NASL lead with three goals each on the season. Herron was named Offensive Player of the Week by the NASL after his two goals in last Saturday’s match against San Antonio. Hassan accounted for all three Strikers goals with a hat trick in Wednesday's win over the Islanders.
September 24, 2011 - at Al Lang Stadium: W, 2-0
Tampa Bay defeated Ft. Lauderdale 2-0 in their regular season finale. The win clinched the third seed in the NASL playoffs for Tampa Bay in their first-ever postseason appearance.
Midfielder Keith Savage opened the scoring off an assist from midfielder Shane Hill in the 68th minute. Forward Matt Clare extended the lead with a goal in second half injury time after a feed from Mike Ambersley.
Last Time Out
The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Atlanta Silverbacks played to a 1-1 tie last Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Rowdies forward Daniel Antoniuk, who entered the game in the 67th minute, one-timed a perfect cross from forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake to give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. Antoniuk ran onto the pass at the far post for his first goal as a member of the Rowdies since joining the team this offseason.
Atlanta rallied to earn a point when forward Reinaldo Navia scored the tying goal after a ball over the top from Lucas Paulini in the 87th minute. The goal was Navia's third of the season.
The Rowdies play a home-and-home with San Antonio, beginning with a road contest at the Scorpions on Saturday, May 5, followed by a home match against San Antonio at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, May 12. For ticket information, call 813-287-1539.