Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Presented by Buick/GMC
Saturday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida
The match can be seen live online here.
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.
American Idol finalist and Tampa Bay native Shannon Magrane will be performing the National Anthem prior to kickoff.
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.
The third annual Buick/GMC Rowdies Celebrity Game will take place at halftime.
Tampa Bay: 10-4-6, 34 points, t2nd place
Atlanta: 4-5-11, 17 points, 8th place
Last Saturday, Tampa Bay scored twice in the final minutes to rally from a 3-1 deficit and earn a 3-3 tie against the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
Heading into this week’s match, Tampa Bay is undefeated in its last six league matches at home, including five straight wins at Al Lang Stadium. Overall, the Rowdies are unbeaten in eight of their last nine, including a current four-match unbeaten streak. With Saturday’s draw, the Rowdies are tied with Puerto Rico for second place in the NASL standings.
Tampa Bay leads the all-time series, 3-2-1 (W-T-L). The Rowdies lead the series this season with one win and one tie. Both games were played in Atlanta, with a 1-1 tie on April 21 and a 3-2 Tampa Bay victory on May 19.
The Rowdies held off a late rally from the Silverbacks in a 3-2 win at Silverbacks Park on May 19. Forward Daniel Antoniuk scored two goals for Tampa Bay and forward Mike Ambersley added an important goal in the 79th minute that proved to the game-winner.
With defender Takuya Yamada's late goal last Saturday, the Rowdies have now scored the game-winning or game-tying goal in the 70th minute or later in six matches this season. It also marked the fourth time in the last nine matches that Tampa Bay rallied from a deficit to earn points.
Under head coach Ricky Hill over the last two seasons, the Rowdies have been one of the league’s best at home. Tampa Bay has lost just once at Al Lang Stadium this season, and owns a home regular season mark of 14-5-5 (W-T-L) since the start of the 2011 season. In fact, the Rowdies have lost just twice in their last 17 regular season home games. Tampa Bay’s seven home wins in 2012 are tied for most in the league and the Rowdies are unbeaten in their last six at home, including five straight wins.
Forward Luke Mulholland scored a goal and had two assists in last Saturday’s match at Carolina. He now has four goals and three assists on the season. Midfielder Shane Hill had his first goal of the season, while Yamada added his second of the season.
Forward Mike Ambersley’s assist was his eighth of the season and he has now picked up at least one point in seven straight matches. His five goals are tied for second on the team. With eight assists, he leads the team and is tied for most in the NASL.
The Silverbacks are currently in eighth place in the NASL standings with 17 points. In their last match, Atlanta defeated Ft. Lauderdale by a score of 4-2 last Saturday at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. The Silverbacks have won three out of their last five games.
Forwards Matt Horth and Reinaldo Navia are tied for most goals on the team with six, while midfielder Ciaran O’Brien leads the team with four assists.
Atlanta has allowed 42 goals in 20 matches, the most goals against in the NASL.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
We have had a good week of preparation for Saturday’s game against Atlanta, which we know will be a very tough game. They are coming off an excellent result on Saturday night against the Strikers, who are always a difficult opponent. The fans have been tremendous for us and they really make a difference and I am hoping they continue to do so for the rest of the season. If we can get some points away from home and capture most of the points at home, we’ll be in good position. It starts on Saturday against Atlanta. They are under a new coaching staff and they have had hot streaks and have scored a lot of goals recently. I want us to get back to being a mean, organized unit which is good going forward and difficult to play against when we have the ball.”
Rowdies Forward/Midfielder Luke Mulholland
“We have had a draw and a win in the two meetings against Atlanta this season, so obviously they have been very close matches. We just have to make sure we approach the game with a good week of practice and work hard. I think there are players on the squad that are pushing for a starting spot on the team so hopefully that is going to raise everyone else’s performances in training and in the games as well. We need to make sure we start the game fast and take our chances and score when we can.”
The Rowdies travel to league leaders San Antonio for the final regular season meeting between the clubs on Sunday, August 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Heroes Stadium.