The Rowdies returned to practice Tuesday morning with a two-hour training session at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, looking ahead to the second leg of the NASL Semifinals at home against Carolina on Saturday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies defeated Carolina 2-1 in the first leg of the NASL Semifinals last Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. Forward Mike Ambersley put the Rowdies up 1-0 in the 63rd minute after a great feed from midfielder Shane Hill. Carolina’s equalizer came in the 78th minute, when forward Brian Shriver scored off a penalty kick. Second half substitute forward Daniel Antoniuk gave the Rowdies the game-winning goal in the 85th minute. He headed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, after a perfect cross by midfielder Evans Frimpong. Antoniuk now leads the team with eight goals this season.
“Both Monday and Tuesday we have worked hard in regards to our team cohesion and defensive principles,” said Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill. “Every game is different, and this one will be completely different than last Saturdays match in Carolina. With that being said, in practice I am reiterating to the players that our style of play should never change and that what we practice during the week, we should implement on gameday.”
Hill commented on the selection of the NASL Best XI, particularly on the three players from the Rowdies.
“I am delighted with the Rowdies having three players in the NASL Best XI,” said Hill. “Jeff has had an excellent season, showing a great level of consistency during his second NASL season. Likewise, Luke is in his first year with the Rowdies and since his arrival he has been working hard and always demonstrates good work ethics. Lastly, Yama is a phenomenal player both in and out of the pitch. How he works day in and day out to increase his level of performance is amazing and he has been a key player in our back line.”
The Rowdies host the RailHawks in the second leg of the NASL Semifinal on Saturday, October 13 at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $12. For more information and for discounted tickets, call our front office at 813.287.1539 or log on to RowdiesSoccer.com!