ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 16, 2019) – The Tampa Bay Rowdies kicked off the home portion of their 2019 USL Championship schedule in fashion Saturday night, powering past the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in a 2-0 victory to extend their perfect start to the year in front of a sellout crowd at Al Lang Stadium.
Shawn Barry and Zach Steinberger scored in either half as the Rowdies (2-0-0, 6 points) picked up their second win in as many matches to start the season. It was the first goal of the year for both players.
“I thought the boys did fantastically well because Pittsburgh are a really, really good team,” Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins said. “It’s our first home win of the season and we sent our fans home happy. That’s what we wanted to do.”
Playing against a Pittsburgh (0-1-0, 0 points) team that was making its 2019 debut, the Rowdies knew it was important to get off to a quick start and put the Riverhounds in a hole early.
Shawn Barry provided the spark in the 26th minute after a Rowdies corner kick was only cleared to just outside the box. Barry lined up a shot and hit it through traffic past Pittsburgh goalkeeper Kyle Morton and into the net for a 1-0 Rowdies lead.
“I’m happy for the win as a team,” Barry said. “We defended well, got up 2-0 and now we’re looking forward to the next game. … I was just trying to hit it hard and low because there was a lot of feet in there and stuff can happen.”
Pittsburgh struggled offensively against a stingy Rowdies defense. Tampa Bay didn’t allow a single shot on goal in the entire match, with John McCarthy not needing to make a single save to post his second clean sheet of the season.
The second half saw the Riverhounds come to life a little bit, but they never really threatened to tie the match. It was just a matter of whether or not the Rowdies could score another before the final whistle.
Barry was at the center of the second goal, too, skating past a couple of defenders as he cut across the top of the 18-yard box with the ball at his feet before laying it off to Steinberger for a clean one-time finish.
Tampa Bay only took two shots on target but scored on both of them.
Now, the Rowdies return to the road, visiting Saint Louis FC in a big early season showdown next Saturday afternoon. Saint Louis also has two wins in two matches to start the year.
On March 30, the Rowdies return home to open a three-game home series against Loudoun United FC. For tickets, call (727) 222-2000 or click here.
Rowdies XI (3-5-2): GK John McCarthy; D Tarek Morad, Pape Diakite, Caleb Richards; M Shawn Barry, Zach Steinberger (Andrew Tinari 90+3'), Dom Oduro, Yann Ekra, Leo Fernandes; F Sebastian Guenzatti (c) (Leon Taylor 88'), Brandon Allen (Juan Tejada 69')
Pittsburgh XI (4-5-1): GK Kyle Morton; D Ryan James, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover; M Mouhamed Dabo, Kenardo Forbes (c) (Noah Franke 82'), Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Kevin Kerr (Neco Brett 64'), Steevan Dos Santos; F Christian Volesky (Anthony Velarde 50')
Tampa Bay: Shawn Barry - 26th minute
Tampa Bay: Zach Steinberger - 86th minute (assisted by Shawn Barry)