Tampa Bay Rowdies at New York Cosmos
Sunday, September 29 at 5:00 p.m. ET
James H. Shuart Stadium, Hempstead, New York
The match can be seen live online via ONE World Sports.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesSoccer.
Tampa Bay: 3-5-0, 14 points, 2nd place
New York: 4-3-1, 15 points, 1st place
Despite the rich history between both clubs, the Rowdies and Cosmos have only played once since the rebirth of the NASL in 2011. The first and only match took place on August 10, where Tampa Bay hosted New York and the match finished in a 0-0 draw.
New York visited Al Lang Stadium in Week 2 of the Fall Season, as the Rowdies and Cosmos battled it out to a scoreless draw in front of a standing-room-only crowd. The visiting team showed their overall strength as a team, but it was Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo who was the man of the match. His 12-save performance sent the Cosmos back up north with just one point.
A 3-1 win last Saturday over the Spring Champions Atlanta Silverbacks continued the Rowdies undefeated streak, extending it to 10 matches. This is the longest streak by the Rowdies since their return to professional soccer in 2010. The current streak began on June 22 during the NASL Spring Season, when the Rowdies traveled to Silverbacks Park and defeated Atlanta 2-1.
Through Week 8 of the NASL Fall Season, the Rowdies are the only undefeated team remaining. Though they have not lost, Tampa Bay is currently in second place, just one point behind the Cosmos who have 15 points in the NASL Fall Season. With a win on Sunday, the Rowdies will jump to first place in the NASL Standings.
Forward Georgi Hristov netted two goals in last Saturday’s win, taking his season total to 11. He is now just one goal behind Carolina’s Brian Shriver and San Antonio’s Hans Denissen, who both lead the league in goals. Midfielder Luke Mulholland led the Rowdies attack, being instrumental in two of the three goals scored against the Silverbacks. His assist on the second goal of the night was his seventh of the season, tying him with fellow forward Hristov and Atlanta’s Danny Barrera for most assists this season. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo saved his third penalty kick of the year last Saturday, denying Atlanta the opening goal of the night. His fantastic performance earned him a spot alongside Mulholland and Hristov in the NASL Team of the Week.
Scouting New York
The current NASL leaders are coming off a 2-0 win on the road against the Strikers. Two goals by Venezuelan forward Diomar Diaz earned him the NASL Player of the Week, while he was joined by midfielder Danny Szetela and defenders Ayoze and Carlos Mendes in the NASL Team of the Week.
In the midfield, Marcos Senna will be one of the biggest threats to the Rowdies come Sunday’s match. The Spanish international has performed at a high level throughout the first half of the NASL Fall Season and his experience has also earned him two goals and one assist in eight matches. The Cosmos have only been scored on in seven opportunities, which is the fewest amount of goals allowed in the NASL and that is thanks to their experienced goalkeeper Kyle Reynish. The former MLS keeper will have a tough task at hand on Sunday as he will face the strongest offense in the NASL, as the Rowdies have scored a league-high 18 goals this Fall Season.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
"The game against the Cosmos will be an entertaining one for all fans. We know how strong they are at home, but we also know how well we have played on the road. It will be an important match that could place us at the top of the table and I’ve expressed to the players that we must go out and stay concentrated the full 90 minutes.”
Tampa Bay’s next two matches will be against the Strikers, with the Rowdies first traveling down to Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, October 5. A week later on Saturday, October 12, the Rowdies will host the in-state rivals at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call (813) 287-1539 or click here.