Match Preview: Rowdies at USF
2014 Rowdies Preseason
Tampa Bay Rowdies at University of South Florida
Saturday, March 1, 2013
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Location: USF Corbett Soccer Stadium (11899 Bull Run Dr. Tampa, FL 33620)
Admission: General Admission bench seats in advance are $5 and $7 day of the game. Seatback chairs are $8 in advance, $10 day of the game. Click here to purchase tickets.
Pre-Game Kids Clinic: There will be a youth clinic prior to the game from 5:30-6:30 p.m., featuring former Tampa Bay Rowdies as well as USF coaches and players. The cost to participate in the clinic is $10 and includes a general admission ticket for kids ages 7-13. Tickets for the clinic must be bought in advance, and participants must bring a soccer ball.
The Rowdies will have 21 signed players available for Saturday’s match.
Scouting the Bulls
USF has enjoyed recent soccer success, with the Bulls winning the inaugural 2013 American Athletic Conference Championship last year after defeating UConn in penalty kicks. USF has now appeared in the NCAA Tournament in seven straight years.
In 2013, USF reached the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament, losing to University of North Carolina 1-0. The Bull culminated the 2013 season with a record of 8-9-4 (W-T-L) under the helm of George Kiefer, who is now in his 13th season as head coach.
The Bulls are led by ACC Offensive MVP Edwin Moalosi, who started all 21 games for the university. After finishing the season tied for most point (14), the forward was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team. Moalosi was second on the team in goals (5) and assists (4). Tied with the forward in points was midfielder Lindo Mfeka, who in his first season with the Bulls, started all 21 games. The freshman was tied for second on the team in goals (5) and assists (4), leading the team in shots (57) and shots on goal (30). Wesley Charpie complements the USF midfield, with the junior starting all matches during the 2013 season. Charpie was named one of the nation's top 25 midfielders in TopDrawerSoccer.com's 2013 season preview.
Saturday’s match against USF will be the Rowdies first preseason match of the 2014 season. With plenty of offseason roster moves, the 2014 Rowdies boast a squad with both the 2013 NASL MVP, Georgi Hristov and also the 2013 NASL top goalscorer, Brian Shriver. In the defense, the Rowdies have added Blake Wagner to fortify the left back position, an area where they had struggled during the 2013 season.
The defensive midfield area now has two players with Major League Soccer experience, as Anthony Wallace and Darel Russell have joined the club in the recent weeks. When the match on Saturday kicks off there will be a new face at goal, as starting goalkeeper (and USF alumni) Diego Restrepo suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during this week’s practice. Newcomer Ryan Thompson will be starting at goal for the Rowdies. The Jamaican keeper joined the club after playing for Shamrock Rovers, where in his two seasons he managed to become the first Jamaican player to ever play in the UEFA Champions League, while also making several appearances in the UEFA Europa League.
Last year, the Rowdies defeated USF 1-0 on March 2 thanks to a goal by trialist Jemal Johnson. The match against USF was forward Georgi Hristov’s first match with the Rowdies. He would go on to be the NASL’s Golden Ball winner after an outstanding 2013 season.
The Rowdies will continue their 2014 Preseason next weekend on Saturday, March 8, when they take on The University of Tampa at Pepin Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET and tickets will be $8 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and younger.
With the 2014 Season just around the corner, fans can save money by purchasing game tickets in advance. Contact the Rowdies’ front office at 877.ROWDIES (877.769.3437) or click here.