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Match Preview: Rowdies Host Harrisburg For First Time

By Rowdies Communications, 08/04/17, 1:45PM EDT

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The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Saturday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday

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

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast locally on thisTV Tampa Bay and online on the USL’s official YouTube channel here.

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.

Records
Tampa Bay: 9-7-5 (W-T-L), 34 points, 4th place Eastern Conference
Harrisburg City Islanders: 6-6-9 (W-T-L), 24 points, 10th place Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
Tampa Bay opens August three points out of first place in the USL Eastern Conference thanks to a strong run of form in July. The Rowdies enter tonight’s match unbeaten in four matches and having conceded just one goal in that time, a stoppage time penalty kick in Orlando.

Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens is likely to make his 100th appearance for the club tonight. He joined in March of 2014 and will become the fifth player in modern Rowdies history to reach 100 appearances, joining Takuya Yamada, Frankie Sanfilippo, Keith Savage and Georgi Hristov. The landmark appearance comes with Pickens playing extremely well. He posted three clean sheets in July’s five matches and hasn’t conceded a goal at Al Lang Stadium since June 10, 355 game minutes ago.

Midfielder Alex Morrell, who has been deployed as the right forward in the Rowdies’ 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks, is also red-hot entering tonight’s contest. He’s earned a spot in the USL Team of the Week in three of the last four weeks. He scored both goals in the Rowdies’ 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds a week ago, his first two league goals of the season.

Tampa Bay added another attacking piece this week with the signing of winger Sebastian Guenzatti, who had played the previous four seasons with the New York Cosmos. Guenzatti is eligible for selection tonight.

Center back Tamika Mkandawire, who excelled in Damion Lowe’s absence while Lowe was at the Gold Cup is suspended tonight due to yellow card accumulation. Lowe is likely to rejoin the starting lineup for the first time since July 1. He was on the bench last week, but did not play.

Lowe and midfielder Keith Savage are both on suspension warning for yellow card accumulation. Both players will be suspended for one match following their next yellow card.

Scouting Harrisburg
Harrisburg comes to St. Pete after a scoreless draw on the road against Orlando City B on Wednesday night. The City Islanders are outside of the current playoff field, but only by a narrow margin. New York Red Bulls II, Ottawa Fury FC, Harrisburg and Orlando City B are all tied with 24 points for eighth place, but New York holds the advantage via tiebreakers.

Paul Wilson leads Harrisburg in scoring with three goals this season. James Thomas is the City Islanders’ leading creator with three assists.

Former Rowdies forward Aaron Wheeler, who played for the team then-known as the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies, now plays for Harrisburg. He has two goals in 11 appearances for the City Islanders this season.