Since their arrival in downtown St. Petersburg prior to the 2011 season, the Rowdies and their fans have made Al Lang Stadium arguably the league’s toughest venue to play in for opposing teams. Tampa Bay is undefeated in its last five league matches at home, including four straight wins, a streak that started with a wild 3-2 last second come-from-behind win over the San Antonio Scorpions on June 23.
The recent success at home has helped the Rowdies improve their overall streak to six wins in their last seven league matches, moving to within two points of the top spot in the table. At home this season, Tampa Bay has lost just once in nine league matches with a 6-2-1 (W-T-L) record.
“We really enjoy the whole experience of playing at Al Lang Stadium,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “Without a doubt it is a beautiful venue and very picturesque. Everyone in the entire community has really embraced the Rowdies and welcomed us there.”
The winning ways of the Rowdies at home began in the 2011 season when Hill joined the Rowdies. Hill said that the Rowdies know that the success at home is in part thanks to the unconditional support of the Tampa Bay fans.
“The support has been phenomenal,” said Hill. “It has been tremendous in regards to the vocal support that they give us whether we are one goal up or down at the time. They never give up on us and the players are very appreciative of that, especially since our supporters are there whether we are winning or not.”
The team’s performance at home has been especially impressive since the start of the 2011 season, with Tampa Bay posting a home regular season mark of 13-5-5 (W-T-L). 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.
“Ralph’s Mob always comes out in their numbers, but it is everyone in the Tampa Bay area that comes to the games,” said Hill. “All the fans play a huge part and we are very grateful for their support.”
The Rowdies are looking to extend their unbeaten streak at home as they close their homestand this Saturday, July 28 against FC Edmonton, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium, presented by Lotto. For tickets, call 813-287-1539 or click here.
BY THE NUMBERS
Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium
Regular Second Record (W-T-L): 13-5-5
2012 Home Record (W-T-L): 6-2-1
Current Unbeaten Streak: 5 matches, May 25-present
Current Winning Streak, 4 matches, June 23-present
NASL Home Victories in 2012
|1. Tampa Bay Rowdies||6|
|1. Puerto Rico Islanders||6|
|1. San Antonio Scorpions||6|
|4. Carolina RailHawks||5|
|4. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers||5|
|4. Minnesota Stars FC||5|