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Match Preview: Rowdies Begin Open Cup Play

By Rowdies Communications, 05/15/17, 6:00PM EDT

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The Basics
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Second Round)
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Jacksonville Armada FC U23
Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET.
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday

Tickets
To request free tickets to Tuesday night’s match, call (727) 308-5203 or email boxoffice@rowdiessoccer.com. All attendees should enter Al Lang Stadium through the Midfielder’s Gate on 1st St S.

Parking
There are several options for parking at Al Lang Stadium and around downtown, but note that parking lots may be more full than usual due to it being a business day. Parking in Lot A, right in front of the stadium, costs $5. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Lot A opens at 4 p.m. For more parking options, click here.

About the Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been played since 1914 and is the longest continuously-running soccer competition in the United States. It is a single-elimination tournament open to professional teams and qualifying amateur teams based in the United States. Major League Soccer teams enter the competition in the Fourth Round. Jacksonville reached this round by defeating The Villages SC (PDL) 2-1 last week in the First Round.

The winner of this match advances to a Third Round match against the winner of Miami FC (NASL) vs South Florida Surf (PDL), which will be played Wednesday night. Tuesday’s match must produce a winner, so if the score is tied after regulation, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety. If the score remains tied, a penalty kick shootout will decide the winner.

Records
Tampa Bay: 5-2-2 (W-T-L), 17 points, 2nd place USL Eastern Conference
Armada FC U23: 1-0-1 (W-T-L), 3 points, NPSL Sunshine Conference

Rowdies Notes
The Rowdies are 5-6 all-time in the Open Cup, including a 1-1 record last season. In the 2016 Open Cup, Tampa Bay beat FC Cincinnati 1-0 before losing to the Columbus Crew SC 4-0.

The Rowdies and Jacksonville Armada FC U23’s have met once before in Open Cup play, though the Armada FC U23’s played as Jacksonville United FC at the time. The Rowdies won that

2012 Second Round match 3-0 with goals from Keith Savage, Daniel Antoniuk and Mike Ambersley.

The Rowdies’ best Open Cup run came in 2013 when they defeated VSI Tampa Bay FC 2-1 in the Second Round and then bounced the defending champion Seattle Sounders 1-0 before falling 2-0 in the Round of 16 to the Portland Timbers.

Ten Rowdies players have scored goals in U.S. Open Cup play, but only Georgi Hristov has ever scored more than one career Open Cup goal. Hristov has scored four times in the competition.

Hristov surpassed Takuya Yamada to become the Rowdies’ Modern Era leader in appearances with his 121st on Saturday night. Should Keith Savage play, it would be his 120th appearance, tying him with Yamada for second all-time.