ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Feb. 10, 2024) – The Tampa Bay Rowdies fell 2-0 to Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United in a preseason matchup at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The meeting came directly on the back of Tampa Bay’s preseason opener the day before, a 4-1 win over MLS Next Pro side Philadelphia Union II.
As he did against Philadelphia, Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson implemented a lineup mixed with minimal rostered players and a handful of preseason trialists. After playing to scoreless stalemate through the first half, Atlanta finally broke through to score in the 52nd minute. The visitors then doubled the lead 12 minutes later.
“First of all, I’m really pleased with the performances in these first two preseason games,” said Neilson. “The players have only been back ten days or so and we were playing against Union II yesterday and Atlanta who have been back for like a month. So fitness wise, I felt the boys did really well. They’re implementing what we want to do. I though today especially in the first half we played extremely well. We dominated a lot of the game against an MLS team. Obviously it’s disappointing the second half came away from us a little bit.”
“All in all, good,” continued Neilson. “There was an energy, a hungry, a work rate from the players, which is the most important thing. If you have that as a base then you’ve got a chance because tactics come off the back of that. That was really pleasing. The second part of that is the tactical side. We played 3-4-3 today, it’s a different system for some of the guys that have recently come in. I thought they’re starting to get an understanding of it. We just need to keep working away at it.
Next up, the Rowdies will host CF Montreal at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. Admission for the match is exclusive to Rowdies season ticket members, who can redeem their ticket for the match in the online ticket portal.
Tampa Bay opens their eighth season in the USL Championship on Saturday, March 16 when they host San Antonio FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Single game tickets for the season opener and every Rowdies home are now available rowdiessoccer.com/tickets/. Fans can also lock in their seats for the whole season at the best rates by becoming a season ticket member today at rowdiessoccer.com/season-tickets/.
ATL – 52′
ATL – 64′
Rowdies First Half XI: Farr, Guillen, Lasso, Trialist, Trialist, Hilton, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist Arteaga,
Rowdies Second Half XI: Breno, Doherty, Kleemann, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Bodily, Perez, Trialist, Arteaga, Jennings