The Tampa Bay Rowdies play the first game of a three-game homestand this Saturday, June 23 at Al Lang Stadium against the San Antonio Scorpions. The Rowdies will then play the Minnesota Stars the following Saturday on June 30 before wrapping up the home stretch with the annual Fourth of July showdown with their cross-state rivals from Ft. Lauderdale.
Head coach Ricky Hill says he is excited for the start of the homestand this Saturday night.
"I never really like to look too far beyond the next game and our first game is coming up against San Antonio, who has proven to be very strong as a club this season," said Hill. "They have quite a bit of experience running through their team and of course they’ve got one of the premier marksman in the league in Pablo Campos so we are aware of that threat. So that’s our first responsibility and our first focus point being this Saturday against San Antonio."
Hill said the entire team is happy to be back in the friendly confines of Al Lang Stadium in front of the club's passionate fan base.
"It’s great to be back home. It’s been a long time since we’ve last played at home," said Hill. "Knowing that we will be back here at Al Lang this Saturday will be a great lift for the players and I’m hoping to get them fresh, focused, and their minds clear. After that, we have two more big games coming up. It’s up to us to be ready to play in the next three home games."
Here is a look at the upcoming homestand:
Saturday, June 23 vs. San Antonio
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Presented by Jimmy John's
The first match of the homestand gives the Rowdies a chance to continue their winning ways and keep momentum going after last week’s win at Minnesota. In the last meeting between the Rowdies and San Antonio, the Scorpions snapped Tampa Bay's club-record five-game unbeaten streak at home in the regular season, dating back to last season, with a 2-1 win on May 12 at Al Lang Stadium.
The Scorpions are off to a great start in their inaugural season and are currently in first place in the league with 22 points. Forward Paul Campos leads the team in goals with six, tied for most in the North American Soccer League. Forward Esteban Bayona leads San Antonio with three assists and is tied for fifth in the NASL. Former Tampa Bay goalkeeper Daryl Sattler ranks among the league leaders, having allowed just three goals in more than 700 minutes of action for a 0.37 goals against average.
Click here for your chance to be a part of the Jimmy John's halftime promotion at this week's match.
Saturday, June 30 vs. Minnesota
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
tbt* Night with the Rowdies
The two teams will meet for the third time in a span of six weeks. In their most recent meeting at Al Lang Stadium, the Rowdies and Stars played to a scoreless tie on May 25. With the tie, the Rowdies snapped Minnesota's winning streak at three and the Stars were held scoreless for the first time in their last six matches at the time. And Tampa Bay handed Minnesota its first home loss of the season last Saturday night with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.
Minnesota is currently in third place in the league standings with 17 points, five points behind league leaders San Antonio. Forward Amani Walker leads the Stars with three goals and three assists so far this season.
Fans can also win tickets and prizes from tbt* and the Rowdies. Click here to enter to win!
Wednesday, July 4 vs. Fort Lauderdale
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.
Light Up the Bay 7.4 presented by Budweiser
The last match of the home stretch presented by Budweiser will be the annual Fourth of July game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Following the match, fans can head down to the field at Al Lang Stadium and watch the City of St. Petersburg's Fireworks extravaganza.
Since its return in 2010, Tampa Bay has dominated the series with the Strikers, losing just once in 10 meetings between the teams. The Rowdies are undefeated at home against Ft. Lauderdale during that span, including a 3-1 victory earlier this season on April 28.
Fort Lauderdale is in fourth place in the league with 16 points, just one point ahead of Tampa Bay. Strikers midfielder Walter Restrepo leads the team with five assists, tied for most in the NASL. Forwards Mark Anderson and Andy Herron lead the team with four goals each, good for a tie for seventh in the league.
For ticket information for all Rowdies home games, call 813-287-1539 or click here to purchase your seats now.