Charlotte Independence vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, September 6, 7 p.m. ET
Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, N.C.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday
Tampa Bay: 14-5-7 (W-L-T), 4th place; 7-2-3 on road
Charlotte: 5-11-10 (W-L-T), 13th place; 5-6-1 at home
The teams last met more than four months ago, a 1-1 draw at Al Lang on April 27. Charlotte's Dom Oduro (no relation) opened the scoring 11 minutes into the game and Sebastian Guenzatti equalized six minutes later but neither side was able to score again.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies are coming off a 2-1 home loss to Nashville last Saturday night. Lebo Moloto put the visitors ahead just before halftime on a rebound after John McCarthy saved a Cameron Lancaster free kick. Sebastian Guenzatti tied the match in the 49th minute but Nashville’s Kharlton Belmar scored the game-winner in the 79th minute.
That defeat saw Tampa Bay slip to third place in the Championship’s Eastern Conference, but the Rowdies fell one more spot to fourth place after the Indy Eleven beat New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday night in Indianapolis. Fourth place is the lowest the Rowdies have been in the standings since April 24 heading into a match against Atlanta United 2 when the season was just six games old.
That slip in the standings was brought on by a poor run of form from the end of July through August. After opening the year on a 13-game unbeaten run (8-0-5, W-L-T), the Rowdies have since gone 6-5-2. Tampa Bay has lost four of its last six matches in a particuarly difficult portion of the schedule. Those losses were to the teams currently in 1st, 9th, 6th and 2nd place. The team in ninth, Birmingham, is currently on a 9-game unbeaten run with seven wins in that stretch.
The Rowdies are 3-1-1 (W-L-T) coming off a loss this season.
Sebastian Guenzatti leads the Rowdies with 14 goals this season, good for third best in the USL Championship. He scored his 14th goal last weekend, setting a new modern era club record for goals in a regular season. The record was previously held by club legend Georgi Hristov, who set it in 2017. The current record for goals in a season is 15, so Guenzatti’s next goal will tie that record.
The Rowdies have been excellent on the road this season, posting a 7-2-3 record away from home, good for 2.0 points per game. The Rowdies have earned 1.79 points per game at home this year. Tampa Bay went 4-10-3 on the road last season (0.88 points per game) and 3-6-7 (1.0 points per game) in 2017.
QUESTIONABLE - Yann Ekra (leg)
QUESTIONABLE - Zach Steinberger (leg)
Dom Oduro (yellow card accumulation)
Pape Diakite (yellow card accumulation)