Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
Presented by Lotto
Saturday, August 25 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.
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. In addition, Adventure Promotions will have their Gyrosphere set up for fans to experience in the Rowdies Fan Zone.
Tampa Bay: 10-5-7, 35 points, t2nd place
Puerto Rico: 10-5-7, 35 points, t2nd place
The Rowdies host the Puerto Rico Islanders for the last meeting between both teams during the Regular Season. With a win, the Rowdies could clinch a playoff berth if and only Edmonton ties or loses their match against Minnesota. Heading into this week’s match, Tampa Bay is undefeated in five of its last six league matches, including three wins.
Overall, the Rowdies are unbeaten in nine of their last 11 games. Last Sunday, Tampa Bay lost 4-0 against first-place San Antonio at Heroes Stadium. The Rowdies are tied with Puerto Rico for second place in the NASL standings.
Tampa Bay trails the 2012 series, 2-0-1 (W-T-L), with the Rowdies posting a convincing 2-0 win on July 23 at home. The Rowdies look to even the series after losing both games played in Puerto Rico earlier on in the season.
The Rowdies defeated the Islanders 2-0 on July 23 with Mike Ambersley and Frankie Sanfilippo scoring the goals. Sanfilippo opened the scoring with a great volley in the 72nd minute, while Ambersley sealed the victory in the 85th minute.
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 14-6-5 (W-T-L) since the start of the 2011 season. In fact, the Rowdies have lost just twice in their last 18 regular season home games. Tampa Bay’s seven home wins in 2012 are tied for second-most in the league and the Rowdies are unbeaten in their last seven at home, including five wins.
Forward Mike Ambersley has eight assists on the season and he has now picked up at least one point in seven of the last nine 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.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella leads the league with 93 saves, and is fifth in the NASL with a goals against average of 1.27. The Rowdies have scored 29 goals this season, fourth most in the NASL
Scouting Puerto Rico
The Islanders are currently tied for second place in the NASL standings with 35 points. Puerto Rico hosted Ft. Lauderdale last Saturday, playing to a scoreless draw at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium.
Forward Nicholas Adderley leads the team with eight goals, tied for fourth in the league. ForwardJonathan Faña has a team-high five assists, tied for fourth in the NASL
Goalkeeper Richard Martin is second in the NASL with a goals against average of 0.95 and is third in the league with 85 saves. The Islanders have given up only 21 goals this season, which is the second fewest allowed in the NASL.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
"We have a squad of guys who will be getting opportunities and chances to shine and hope that Saturday we can put our best foot forward against Puerto Rico who we know is a determined, strong and organized team. It will be very close."
"We have to stay in the game and make sure we aren't making any mistakes. The players are in good spirits as well as we can be, the past is the past and we have been concentrated all week on Saturday night's match. We want to get back on that winning frame of mind. We have 6 games remaining in the season and we would like to win all those 6 games. The most important thing is to get our minds back in playoff focus mode."
The Rowdies travel to play the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers for the final regular season meeting between the clubs on Saturday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.