Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton
Presented by Lotto
Saturday, July 28 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: Darek Sharp, Color: Winston DuBose
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
Tampa Bay: 9-3-6, 30 points, 2nd place
FC Edmonton: 4-4-9, 16 points, 7th place
After its 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico on Saturday, Tampa Bay has won six of its last seven matches, including three come-from-behind wins during that stretch. Tampa Bay is also undefeated in its last five league matches at home, including four straight wins. During the home winning streak, the Rowdies have outscored their opponents 10-3.
Defender and team captain Frankie Sanfilippo notched the game-winner for the Rowdies in the 72nd minute last Saturday night, with forward Mike Ambersley adding the insurance goal in the 85th minute. With Saturday’s win, the Rowdies have moved into second place in the NASL standings, two points behind league leaders San Antonio.
Tampa Bay owns a 4-1-1 mark (W-T-L) against FC Edmonton over the last two seasons, including victories in four consecutive meetings. The teams have met twice in 2012, with the Rowdies posting a 1-0 victory in their home opener at Al Lang Stadium on April 14 and a 1-0 win in Edmonton on Sunday, July 15.
The Rowdies stunned FC Edmonton 1-0 on July 15 at Clarke Stadium on a goal by Luke Mulholland in the 89th minute. The Rowdies played for more than half of the game with 10 men after forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake was issued a red card in the 33rd minute. Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made eight saves for his second shutout against FC Edmonton in 2012.
Rowdies defender Frankie Sanfilippo was named the North American Soccer League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday. Sanfilippo also claimed the award on May 29 after the team’s shutout of Minnesota on May 25. Sanfilippo led Tampa Bay to its fourth consecutive victory at home and its sixth win in seven games overall with a 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico last Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. Sanfilippo scored the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute and also helped Tampa Bay post its second straight shutout and fifth this season. He has played in all 1,620 minutes this season, tied for most in the league. The honor marks the eighth 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 13-5-5 (W-T-L) since the start of the 2011 season. In fact, the Rowdies have lost just twice in their last 16 regular season home games. Tampa Bay’s six home wins in 2012 are tied for most in the league and its one loss at home is tied for the fewest in the NASL.
With a goal and an assist in last Saturday’s match against Puerto Rico, forward Mike Ambersley has picked up at least one point in five straight matches. His five goals are tied for second on the team. With six assists, he leads the team and is tied for most in the NASL.
Scouting FC Edmonton
FC Edmonton currently sits in seventh place in the NASL standings with 16 points. FC Edmonton has earned just eight points total in 10 road matches. FC Edmonton defeated Atlanta by a score of 2-1 last Saturday on the road at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. The win snapped a six-game winless streak, including four losses and two draws.
Midfielder Shaun Saiko leads the team with five goals, and is second in the league with 56 shots. His team-high five assists ties him for third in the NASL. Goalkeeper John Smits has a goals against average of 1.00, second-best in the league.
FC Edmonton has allowed just 19 goals in 17 matches, tied for third-fewest in the league, but has scored a league-low 15 goals.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
“FC Edmonton is coming off the back of a very good result on Saturday against Atlanta. Atlanta has proven in recent times to be very difficult to play against, so that is a tremendous result for them. They are a very hard working side. There have been only two goals between us in the two games we’ve played and we’ve managed to get one goal on each occasion to win both matches. We are not expecting anything other than a really tough game. But having said that, our recent form at home has been very pleasing. We are a match for any team that comes into Al Lang and if we maintain that same kind of focus and attitude going into the game, then it should keep us in a good position for Saturday’s game. At this moment in time, we are having a good run in regard to everyone being consistently on the same page and ultimately we are getting the results on the back of that.”
The Rowdies travel to Carolina for the first time this season as they face the RailHawks on Saturday, August 4 at 7:00 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park.