Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Hartford Athletic
Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday
Tickets for Saturday’s match are available by calling (727) 222-2000 or clicking here. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., 60 minutes before kickoff.
Tampa Bay: 2-0-2 (W-L-T), 2nd place; 1-0-1 at home
Hartford: 0-4-0 (W-L-T), 18th place; 0-4-0 on road
The Tampa Bay Rowdies remain home for the second match of a three-game homestand that kicked off with a scoreless draw against Loudoun United FC last weekend. It was the first time this season the Rowdies have been shut out.
While the offense didn’t quite click, Tampa Bay remained rock solid defensively, with goalkeeper John McCarthy making just one save to keep his league-best third clean sheet of the season. The Rowdies have allowed just 1.25 shots on target per match this season. While McCarthy leads the league in clean sheets, he’s only tied for 31st in saves due to the stinginess of the defense in front of him.
The only goal conceded by the Rowdies came in the match Shawn Barry missed due to international duty, with Caleb Richards moving from center back to right wing back in his absence. Tampa Bay’s first-choice center back grouping of Tarek Morad, Pape Diakite and Richards has not yet allowed a goal.
Two Rowdies made their first start of the season last weekend, midfielder Andrew Tinari and forward Antoine Hoppenot. The Hoppenot-Guenzatti partnership at forward was the third partnership Head Coach Neill Collins has picked this season. Tampa Bay has only scored once from open play this season, Zach Steinberger’s late goal against Pittsburgh on March 16.
The Rowdies won both of their home matches in April last season by a combined score of 7-0. Tampa Bay beat Ottawa Fury FC 5-0 on April 7 before beating Real Monarchs SLC 2-0 two weeks later.
Tampa Bay has been playing from behind this season in terms of familiarity with its opposition. Hartford will be the third expansion team the Rowdies have faced in five matches to start the 2019 season. Of the two non-expansion teams the Rowdies have faced, Saint Louis FC played in the Western Conference last season and Pittsburgh hadn’t played a match yet this year when it visited Al Lang Stadium.
Injury Report: OUT: F Malik Johnson (shoulder)