MONTCLAIR, N.J. (September 3, 2017) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies suffered a 4-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday afternoon, opening a three-game road swing through the northeast without points.
Here’s Three Things from the match…
1. What might have been
With the Rowdies trailing 3-1 for most of the second half, Tampa Bay’s Hunter Gorskie gave his team a lifeline with a debut goal in the 77th minute, setting the match up for a potentially great Rowdies comeback.
Just a few minutes after cutting the deficit to one goal, the Rowdies have a golden chance to equalize the match through second-half substitute Alex Morrell.
Morrell picked the ball up outside the box and made a charging run toward goal, playing a give-and-go with Sebastian Guenzatti before hitting a right-footed shot that forced Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara into a diving save. At full stretch, Meara palmed the ball onto the goalpost and out of play for a corner.
It’s easy to wonder what may have happened if Meara hadn’t made the save. The match would’ve been tied at 3-3 with more than 10 minutes left and Tampa Bay would’ve had all the momentum having scored twice in three minutes.
2. Conceding early
The Rowdies have opened each of their last three matches slowly, conceding the first goal within 17 minutes of the opening kick. On all three occasions, the Rowdies came back quickly to equalize, but the trend of conceding the first goal of the match needs to be fixed with just seven games to go in the USL regular season. The Rowdies are 1-3-6 (W-T-L) this season when conceding the first goal, with the lone win coming May 19 against Toronto FC II.
Tampa Bay should be crediting for scoring on the road, with five goals in their last two road games, but the Rowdies equally need to criticized for conceding four goals in each of their last two road matches.
3. Back at it soon
Tampa Bay returned home Sunday to have a few days of training at home before Wednesday night’s match against the Harrisburg City Islanders. The Rowdies will travel to Pennsylvania on Tuesday and remain there through next Saturday’s match against the Bethlehem Steel.