ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 12, 2020) -- The inaugural Visit Tampa Bay Cup is coming to Al Lang Stadium this July when the Tampa Bay Rowdies take on Norwich City's U23 side in the first on-field meeting between the partner clubs.
Norwich’s first team held a warm-weather training camp at Al Lang Stadium in November of 2018 and the Rowdies and Norwich then formed an international partnership in January of last year. Since then, the Rowdies have signed two players on loan from Norwich City's U23s -- Caleb Richards in 2019 and Louis Lomas in 2020. The clubs also worked together last summer to put on the Yellow & Green Dream camp, giving youth soccer players here in Tampa Bay the chance to train with coaches from both clubs. The Yellow & Green Dream camp will return this summer.
The next phase of the partnership is the Visit Tampa Bay Cup, which will be played at Al Lang on Wednesday, July 1 at 7 p.m.
“The partnership between the Rowdies and Norwich City is something really unique and something that is continuing to grow stronger with each endeavor we work on together,” Rowdies President Lee Cohen said. “In the 12 months since we officially formed our partnership, we’ve spent time visiting and learning from one another, we’ve co-run the Yellow & Green Dream Camp and now the Rowdies are hosting Norwich’s U23s in July for a preseason camp that will be capped off with the first Visit Tampa Bay Cup match! We look forward to continuing the development of this partnership for many years to come.”
2020 Tampa Bay Rowdies season ticket holders will receive free admission to the Visit Tampa Bay Cup. Tickets will be made available for purchase by non-season ticket holders in the future. More information will be made available at a later date.
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This will be the Rowdies first international friendly since July of 2011 when they hosted then-Premier League side Bolton Wanderers.
"As a club, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to Tampa Bay in the summer for our academy tour," said Sam Jeffery, Norwich City's Head of Commercial Operations. “The partnership has grown from strength-to-strength over the last few years, and we feel really lucky that Santiago Corrada and Patrick Harrison, of Visit Tampa Bay, match our pioneering spirit in aiming to create a legacy that lasts a long time.
“We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved with these guys so far, and when the teams walk out at the Visit Tampa Bay Cup it’ll be a moment in time that’s been years in the making. Long may this relationship continue to thrive."