Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
Presented by Emetrol
Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida
The match can be seen live online here at www.RowdiesSoccer.com - Play-by-Play: Jim Henderson
Tickets are still available, including discounted seats for as low as $10 if you call our sales staff by 12 Noon on Saturday at 813-287-1539. You can also order tickets anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online by clicking here. Fans may also purchase tickets at the box office at Al Lang Stadium, which opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The first 500 fans will receive an official Rowdies tote bag, presented by Emetrol.
Activities inside the Rowdies Fan Zone and Bayshore Beer Garden, which are both free and open to the public, begin at 5:30 p.m. right outside of the stadium.
Fans should plan to join us for the official post-game party at Jonny Reno's on the Pier. Bring your ticket stub for a free draft beer and meet three of the Rowdies players after tonight's match. There will also be live music, door prizes and drink specials.
Tampa Bay: 8-3-6, 27 points, 3rd place
Puerto Rico: 8-4-5, 28 points, 2nd place
Following its 1-0 victory at FC Edmonton on Sunday, Tampa Bay has won five of its last six matches, including three come-from-behind wins during that stretch. Despite playing more than half of the game Sunday with 10 men after forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake was issued a red card in the 33rd minute, the Rowdies prevailed on Luke Mulholland’s game-winner in the 89th minute. With Sunday’s win, the Rowdies have moved into third place in the NASL standings, just one point behind second place Puerto Rico and two points behind league leaders San Antonio.
Since its return in 2010, the Rowdies are just 1-3-6 (W-T-L) against Puerto Rico, with the lone victory coming on May 29, 2010 (2-1 at home at Steinbrenner Field). Tampa Bay has lost both meetings on the road this season, 1-0 in the season opener on April 7 and 2-0 on June 9. This will mark Puerto Rico's first visit to Al Lang Stadium in 2012.
The Rowdies lost 2-0 to Puerto Rico on June 9 at Bayamon Soccer Complex as Puerto Rico scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season and the fifth time in his career on Monday. Attinella had eight saves in Tampa Bay’s 1-0 victory at FC Edmonton on Sunday afternoon. Attinella posted his fourth shutout in 2012 and the ninth of his career, helping the Rowdies to a victory on Luke Mulholland’s game-winner in the 89th minute. Attinella has 76 saves in the season, most by any goalkeeper in the NASL.
The honor marks the seventh time a Tampa Bay player has received a weekly NASL offensive or defensive award, the most for any team in the league in 2012.
Under head coach Ricky Hill over the last two seasons, the Rowdies have been one of the league’s best at home at Al Lang Stadium. Tampa Bay has lost just once at Al Lang this season, and owns a home regular season mark of 12-5-5 (W-T-L) since the start of the 2011 season. In fact, the Rowdies have lost just twice in their last 15 regular season home games. Tampa Bay’s five home wins in 2012 are tied for second-most in the league and its one loss at home is tied for the fewest in the NASL.
Forward Mike Ambersley, who picked up the assist against FC Edmonton, leads the team with five assists and is tied for second in the NASL.
Scouting Puerto Rico
The Islanders have a record of 8-4-5 (W-T-L) and stand in second place with 28 points, just one point behind first-place San Antonio in the NASL standings. Puerto Rico lost 2-1 in its last match at Atlanta this past Saturday night.
Forward Nicholas Addlery leads the team with six goals, tied for fifth-best in the league. Forward Jonathan Faña is tied for second in the league with a team-high five assists.
Goalkeeper Richard Martin has a goals against average of 1.00, which is tied for second-best in the league. His 60 saves place him fourth in the NASL.
Head Coach Ricky Hill
“Our record against Puerto Rico is not great and we know that. But each game has been different in its own merit and the two games this year have been very closely contended throughout the whole game. I believe that if we take care of each game on its own when the time comes, we will put our best foot forward on Saturday. We certainly respect the opposition, but I think we are a tough opponent for any team in this league and that’s been proven throughout the season in my opinion.”
The Rowdies close their homestand next Saturday, July 28 against FC Edmonton, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium, presented by Lotto.