Match Preview - Rowdies Visit Atlanta Silverbacks
Tampa Bay Rowdies at Atlanta Silverbacks
Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, Georgia
The match can be seen live online at NASLlive.com.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday.
Tampa Bay: 5-2-8, 17 points Fall; 7-6-11, 27 points overall
Atlanta: 3-3-9, 12 points Fall; 6-4-14, 22 points overall
Tampa Bay is 6-5-3 all-time against the Silverbacks, including Atlanta’s 3-1 win at Al Lang Stadium on April 26 and the Rowdies’ 3-2 win in St. Pete on July 12. In that 3-2 Tampa Bay win on opening day of the Fall Season, the Silverbacks led 2-0 at halftime thanks to first-half goals by Junior Burgos and Deon McCaulay. The Rowdies came back to tie the match via goals by Casey Townsend (58th minute) and Georgi Hristov (66th minute) before Hristov’s winner in stoppage time.
The Rowdies arrive in Atlanta on the back end of a congested schedule, with tonight’s match being the fifth in 15 days for Tampa Bay. The Rowdies are on a seven-match winless streak, including Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to league-leading Minnesota United at Al Lang Stadium.
Tampa Bay desperately needs a win in this match to keep its faint postseason hopes alive. The Rowdies are currently eight points behind fourth-place Fort Lauderdale in the final qualification spot with nine points left on offer this season.
Reigning NASL Golden Ball winner Georgi Hristov leads the Rowdies in scoring this season with eight goals this season. Hristov scored the Rowdies’ opening goal Wednesday night against the Loons.
The Silverbacks enter a match on a six-match winless streak since beating the Carolina RailHawks 2-0 on August 30. Atlanta’s only home win of the Fall Season came in week two, when the Silverbacks topped FC Edmonton 1-0 on July 19. Last week, the Silverbacks drew 2-2 with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Atlanta.
Alejandro Pombo will coach this match for Atlanta, serving as the interim coach following the dismissal of previous coach Jason Smith on Oct. 5.
The Silverbacks prefer a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield. Against the Strikers last week, Pablo Cruz played the No. 10 role, with Shaka Bangura and Jaime Chavez paired together as forwards. Chavez and left winger Junior Sandoval lead Atlanta in scoring, with eight and seven goals, respectively. Cruz leads the team with four assists.
After this match, the Rowdies prepare for their final two matches of the 2014 regular season with a trip to New York to face the Cosmos on the horizon on Saturday, Oct. 25. The regular season finale against Indy Eleven will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 1 with fireworks after the match. For tickets, call (877) ROWDIES or click here.