Tampa Bay Rowdies at Carolina RailHawks
2013 NASL Fall Season
Saturday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
The match can be seen live online via NASL on Ustream.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesSoccer.
Tampa Bay: 2-4-0, 10 points, 1st place
Carolina: 3-1-2, 10 points, 2nd place
Tampa Bay picked up their third win against the RailHawks since 2010 this past Saturday, improving their record against Carolina to 3-6-6 mark (W-T-L). The Rowdies lost 2-1 in their only meeting in Carolina this year, giving up two late goals to lose the match. The two teams tied in all four meetings during the 2012 regular season, while the Rowdies defeated Carolina 5-4 on aggregate in the 2012 NASL Semifinals.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies climbed to the top of the NASL Standings last Saturday after defeating the Carolina RailHawks 3-2 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. An own goal by Carolina's defender Paul Hamilton produced the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. The RailHawks defender redirected a shot by forward Lucky Mkosana, extending the Rowdies unbeaten run to eight matches. Hristov and Frimpong also had scored earlier in the match, but it was Mkosana who produced the late winner.
The Rowdies lost their only away match this season against the RailHawks on June 8 after Carolina scored two goals in stoppage time to make it 2-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. A goal in the 87th minute by forward Devin Del Do seemed to give the Rowdies the win, but the RailHawks came from behind with two unanswered goals. Tampa Bay played a man down for over 50 minutes, as a red card was issued to defender Andres Arango for taking down midfielder Ty Shipalane.
Tampa Bay is currently on their longest regular season unbeaten streak since their return to professional soccer in 2010. In that opportunity, Tampa Bay was on a 7-game unbeaten run, including four wins and three draws. On June 6, the Vancouver Whitecaps put an end to the club’s streak, which had lasted from May 1 to May 29.
The Rowdies enter Saturday’s clash with the RailHawks with an eight game unbeaten run, which includes four wins and four draws. Tampa Bay’s current unbeaten run began on June 22, when the Rowdies defeated Atlanta 2-1 during the NASL Spring Season.
Forward Etienne Barbara joined the club in August to put balls in the back of the net, but last Saturday his two assists placed him on the NASL Team of the Week. He was joined by Hristov and Frimpong, who both scored a goal each in the 3-2 win over the RailHawks. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo continues to be on the top of his game, earning him the NASL Player of the Week, which he shared with Atlanta’s Joe Nasco. This is the second time Restrepo has earned this honor, with the first one coming after a 12-save performance against the Cosmos in August.
Carolina still remains with 10 points after last weekend’s loss against the Rowdies, dropping their second-straight win on the road. The RailHawks are returning home this weekend, to play in a stadium where they have not lost in 2013. Second placed Carolina’s last home loss came in the 2012 NASL Semifinals, when an 85th minute goal saw them fall 2-1 to the Rowdies on October 6.
Even though forward Brian Shriver did not score this past weekend, he did however pick up his first assist of the season. It was midfielder Ty Shipalane who opened the scoring last Saturday at Al Lang Stadium, making it the second-straight match in which he has picked up a a goal against the Rowdies. Shipalane has been a constant threat down the right flank in recent matches against Tampa Bay. Midfielder Enzo Martinez netted the second goal of the night for the Railhawks, which was his second goal this season.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
"Saturday's match is just as important to us as it is to them. We escaped last match with the three points, and we expect them to come out in Cary looking for revenge. I've expressed to the players that picking up the three point is crucial for our aspirations to reach the Soccer Bowl."
Tampa Bay’s next home match will be on Saturday, September 21 against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Al Lang Stadium. Saturday’s match will feature the Family Four Pack special presented by the Tampa Bay Times. This includes four (4) Tickets and four (4) meal vouchers for half-off a hotdog and half-off a soft drink. For ticket information, call (813) 287-1539 or click here.