ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 17, 2019) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies are back in control of their playoff destiny after getting a little bit of help Wednesday night in action elsewhere in the USL Championship's Eastern Conference.
With one match to go, the calculation is simple.
If the Rowdies earn a win Saturday night against the Hartford Athletic, they will host a quarterfinal match on Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. If the Rowdies fail to win, the results of other matches will determing if Tampa Bay plays its quarterfinal at home or on the road.
Tampa Bay currently sits in fourth place and can finish in either fourth, fifth or sixth place. Finishing in fourth would secure a home game in the quarterfinals, while finishing in fifth or sixth would see the Rowdies travel for their playoff opener.
The math for a fourth place finish gets a little trickier if the Rowdies fail to win in Hartford. Tampa Bay currently leads both New York Red Bulls II and Louisville City FC by one point. If the Rowdies draw their match in Hartford and either New York or Louisville win their matches (at Loudoun and at Memphis, respectively), the Rowdies will fall to fifth or sixth place. If the Rowdies lose, they will need both New York and Louisville to lose to hold onto fourth place and the home quarterfinal.
Hartford currently sits in 17th place in the Eastern Conference after struggling through its inaugural season. The Athletic is 4-4-1 (W-L-T) at home since moving into its permanent venue of Dillon Stadium. The Rowdies beat Hartford 4-0 in St. Petersburg on April 6 in the first meeting between the teams.