Tampa Bay Rowdies at FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay: 5-5-2, 20 points, 2nd place
FC Edmonton: 2-6-4, 12 points, 7th place
Tampa Bay owns a 6-4-1 mark (W-T-L) against FC Edmonton over the last two seasons, including an unbeaten streak of nine consecutive matches. All three matches this year finished in ties. Previously, the teams had met four times in 2012, with the Rowdies posting a 1-0 victory in both home games at Al Lang Stadium on April 14 and July 28. Tampa Bay also defeated Edmonton 1-0 and 3-0 in both visits to Clarke Stadium.
The Rowdies and FC Edmonton played to a 1-1 draw on August 24 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. Midfielder Luke Mulholland had put the Rowdies up with a goal in the 38th minute, but Edmonton midfielder Chris Nurse took a strike from outside the 18 to equalize the match in the 45th minute.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 1-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions that kept them in the hunt for the 2013 Fall Season. The win last Saturday, coupled with Sunday’s draw between the Eddies and the Cosmos, closed the gap between the first-placed Cosmos and the Rowdies to just five points.
A goal from the penalty spot by Mulholland lifted the Rowdies to their fourth consecutive home victory last Saturday against San Antonio. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo and defender Frankie Sanfilippo joined the English midfielder on the NASL Team of the Week following the crucial win. Mulholland now has nine goals on the season, trailing only forward Georgi Hristov, who has netted 12. The Rowdies will know going into the match whether or not they are still in contention for the Soccer Bowl as the Cosmos visit the Scorpions on Saturday night. If the Cosmos win, the Rowdies will be mathematically eliminated from the NASL Fall Season and it will be New York who will play for the Soccer Bowl.
Scouting FC Edmonton
In an exciting match last Sunday, the Eddies were able to come up with a late equalizer against the Cosmos at James H. Shuart Stadium. Edmonton has only won two out of their last 11 matches, but they always prove to be a tough opponent. The Rowdies have defender David Proctor to thank, as he was the goal scorer in last weekend’s match against the Cosmos. The backline has been strong in recent matches, with Captain Albert Watson proving to be one of the pillars of this Edmonton team.
The midfield will feature Chris Nurse, who scored in the last meeting between the Rowdies and Edmonton. Up top, forward Daryl Fordyce will be looking to add to his team-high six goals on Sunday.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
"Our main objective for the last four games of the season has been to accumulate 12 points and we are half way there. We understand how difficult it is to play in Edmonton due to the weather but we realize the importance of these three points. Everyone's focus and determination has been excellent thus far in our preparation and come Sunday we are going to try to earn another three points."
Tampa Bay's will play its last home match of the season on Saturday, November 2 against Minnesota United FC. Exclusive discounted $10 General Admission tickets will be available only through the Rowdies Front Office at (813) 287-1539.