FC Tampa Bay at Carolina RailHawks
Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina
The match can be seen live online at www.fctampabay.com
FC Tampa Bay: 3-4-4, 13 points
Carolina: 9-1-1, 28 points
2011 Series (W-T-L):
Carolina leads 2-0-0
In the first head-to-head meeting on May 7 at Al Lang Stadium, FCTB midfielder Pascal Millien scored his first goal of the season, tying the match at 1-1 in the first half. But two second half goals for Carolina gave the RailHawks the win. FC Tampa Bay rookie goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made his first professional start in the match.
In the second matchup, FCTB lost 2-1 to Carolina in St. Petersburg. The match was scoreless until the 63rd minute when Carolina forward Etienne Barbara converted a penalty kick for his league-leading 12th goal of the year. Two minutes later, midfielder Nick Zimmerman put a header in the back of the net after a feed from Jonny Steele for a 2-0 RailHawks lead. FCTB cut the gap in half with forward Mike Ambersley’s goal on a penalty kick in the 86th minute, but FC Tampa Bay could not score the equalizer.
FC Tampa Bay will wear its hooped away kits with the club’s navy and royal colors for the first time Saturday night against the RailHawks.
FC Tampa Bay forward Mike Ambersley was awarded NASL Offensive Player of the Week after he scored a season-high two goals in FC Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Sunday night at Al Lang Stadium. He leads the team and ranks tied for second in the NASL with five goals this season.
Carolina extended its undefeated streak to 10 with a 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton at Foote Field on Friday, June 10. Barbara leads the league in both goals (12) and assists (5), and his three multi-goal matches also rank first in the NASL.
Defender Omar Jarun has been selected by the Palestinian Soccer Federation to participate in their upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Jarun left on June 17 to join the National Team for training, with the squad slated to play qualifiers on June 29 and July 3.
Defender JP Rodrigues, who underwent knee surgery last Tuesday, is not expected to be available for the match. Rodrigues is still hopeful to return sometime in June.
Midfielder Chad Burt is still day-to-day with a foot injury and midfielder Takuya Yamada is questionable with a groin injury sustained in practice this week.
FC Tampa Bay takes on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers next Wednesday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium. The match was rescheduled from its original date of Saturday, May 14, when it was postponed because of inclement weather.