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Match Preview: Rowdies Take On New York

By Rowdies Communications, 10/03/17, 2:30PM EDT

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The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. New York Red Bulls II
Wednesday, October 4, 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday

Tickets
Tickets for Wednesday’s match are available by calling (727) 222-2000 or clicking here. Gates open at 6 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. Because this is a weekday match, be mindful that the Al Lang Stadium parking lot is likely to be more full than usual during business hours.

Records
Tampa Bay: 12-10-7 (W-T-L), 46 points, 4th place EasternConference
New York: 12-5-12 (W-T-L), 41 points, 8th place Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
Tampa Bay is coming off a 1-1 draw against the Bethlehem Steel FC on Saturday night which moved the Rowdies to within touching distance of their first postseason berth since 2012. Tampa Bay fell behind 1-0 early in the second half, but Sebastian Guenzatti rescued a point in the 80th minute with his first goal since joining the Rowdies.

A win tonight officially clinches the Rowdies’ spot in the USL Cup Playoffs, but the fight for seeding remains tight. Tampa Bay would vault all the way up to second place with a victory tonight, leapfrogging both Charleston and Charlotte with just two games remaining in the regular season.

Tampa Bay has been near dominant on the grass at Al Lang Stadium this season, losing only once and posting 10 wins in 15 matches so far. The Rowdies haven’t lost at home since April 22. If Tampa Bay avoids defeat in this match, it will set a new Modern Era club record for longest home unbeaten run at 13 games. The previous mark was set between June 23, 2012 and April 6, 2013, including the Rowdies’ run to the NASL Soccer Bowl title in 2012.

After serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation Saturday night, Georgi Hristov is eligible to return against New York. He is the Rowdies’ leading scorer with 11 goals this season. His next goal for the Rowdies will be his 50th in all competitions.

Leo Fernandes was included in the matchday squad Saturday night for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in Richmond on June 17, but he did not enter the match.

This is the Rowdies’ fourth match in 12 days and their final home game of the regular season. Following this match, Tampa Bay visits San Antonio and Orlando to close the regular season.

Scouting New York
The defending USL Cup champions make their first visit to St. Petersburg in the midst of a hotly-contested battle to make the playoffs. New York’s 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday afternoon moved the Red Bulls into the eighth and final playoff position with three matches to play. Bethlehem trails by just one point.

The Red Bulls are in some of their best form of the year, with four wins in their last six matches to challenge for a postseason spot. Of the current playoff field, New York is the only team with a negative goal difference, having scored 48 goals this year but conceded 50.

New York is led offensively by Junior Flemmings, who has scored eight goals this year. Brandon Allen led the team in scoring with nine goals, but moved to Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United FC in July.