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Match Preview: Rowdies Host FC Cincinnati

By Rowdies Communications, 07/05/17, 2:15PM EDT

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The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Cincinnati
Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday

Tickets
Tickets for Thursday’s match are available by calling (727) 222-2000 or clicking here. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Postgame Concert
Kool and The Gang will perform a concert inside the stadium shortly after the conclusion of the match. Fans will be allowed on the field following an announcement over the PA system.

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast nationwide on ESPNU and online via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

Parking
There are several options for parking at Al Lang Stadium and around downtown. Parking in Lot A, right in front of the stadium, costs $5. Lot A opens at 4 p.m. For more parking options, click here. Due to the match being on a business day, the parking lot may be more full than usual during business hours.

Records
Tampa Bay: 6-6-5 (W-T-L), 24 points, 3rd place Eastern Conference
FC Cincinnati: 5-6-5 (W-T-L), 21 points, 7th place Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have dropped to third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings due to a seven-game winless streak in league play. Since a 3-1 win on the road against Toronto FC II on May 19, nearly a month and a half ago, the Rowdies have gone 0-4-3 (W-T-L) to fall 10 points adrift of the first place Charleston Battery.

The Rowdies started the year with a staunch defensive unit, keeping six clean sheets in their first nine matches to open the season. Since then, Tampa Bay hasn’t kept a clean sheet in any of its eight USL matches. The Rowdies’ last clean sheet came in a 2-0 win over Louisville City FC on May 13.

Along with the defensive slump, the Rowdies have also been mired in a scoring drought for the last several weeks. Tampa Bay hasn’t scored multiple goals in a match since a 2-2 draw on the road against the Charlotte Independence on June 4.

Midfielders Michael Nanchoff (ribs) and Leo Fernandes (knee) remain sidelined by injuries and will be unavailable against FC Cincinnati.

Tampa Bay will also be without two defenders for this match. Damion Lowe is on international duty with Jamaica at the Gold Cup. Luke Boden is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

Forward Georgi Hristov leads the Rowdies with six goals this season. He is Tampa Bay’s Modern Era leader in appearances (129) and goals (44.) Hristov hasn’t scored since June 4, a penalty against Charlotte. His last goal from open play was on May 13.

Following this match, Kool & The Gang will become the fifth musical act to play a postgame concert at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies are 0-4-0 (W-T-L) on concert nights.

Scouting FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati has been inconsistent in USL play this season, sitting in just seventh place, one point ahead of the current playoff field cut. Cincinnati enters this match unbeaten in four USL games since losing 1-0 to the Rochester Rhinos on June 3.

Aside from league play, FC Cincinnati has been at its best in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Cincinnati is in the quarterfinals of the tournament, having beaten AFC Cleveland (PDL), Louisville City (USL), Columbus Crew (MLS) and Chicago Fire (MLS) in previous rounds. Last week, Cincinnati’s match against Chicago went to penalty kicks even at 0-0 before goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt saved three Fire penalties to help his team advance. Cincinnati visits the NASL’s Miami FC in the next round on July 12.

Cincinnati forward Djiby Fall leads the team in scoring with eight USL goals this year, despite being suspended for six matches earlier in the season for biting an opponent. Fall is the fourth-leading scorer in the league.

Goalkeeper Dallas Jaye played college soccer at the University of South Florida from 2011 to 2014. He’s made one appearance in goal for Cincinnati this year