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Know Your Foe: Part Two

By Rowdies Communications, 11/17/16, 8:30AM EST


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (November 17, 2016)-- With the Tampa Bay Rowdies set to make their debut in the United Soccer League in March, a new set of opponents await. To help introduce Rowdies fans to their new USL adversaries, the Rowdies are publishing a three-part primer on Tampa Bay’s Eastern Conference opponents. This is part two. To see part one, click here.

Harrisburg City Islanders

First season: 2004
2016 record: 8W-15L-7T, 31 points, -17 Goal Differential, 10th place
2016 postseason: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Bill Becher
Stadium: FNB Field, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (capacity: 6,187)

Harrisburg City has been one of the USL’s most consistent teams since its first season in 2004. Head Coach Bill Becher is the only head coach in club history having just finished his 13th season in charge. The Islanders were in the USL Final as recently as 2014 when they lost to Sacramento.

Louisville City FC

First season: 2015
2016 record: 17W-4L-9T, 60 points, +25 Goal Differential, 2nd place
2016 postseason: Defeated Richmond Kickers 2-0 in quarterfinals, defeated Charleston Battery 1-0 in semifinals, eliminated in penalty kicks by New York Red Bulls II in conference final
Head Coach: James O’Connor
Stadium: Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, Kentucky (capacity: 8,000)

Louisville City is off to a great start in its short club history, proving itself a strong organization in its first two years on the field. Louisville City has finished in second place in the Eastern Conference in both of its two seasons, but hasn’t yet reached a USL Cup final.

New York Red Bulls II

First season: 2015
2016 record: 21W-3L-6T, 69 points, +40 Goal Differential, 1st place
2016 postseason: Defeated Orlando City B 4-0 in quarterfinals, defeated Rochester Rhinos in penalty kicks in semifinals, defeated Louisville City in penalty kicks in conference final, defeated Swope Park Rangers 5-1 in USL Cup final.
Head Coach: John Wolyniec
Stadium: Pittser Soccer Complex, Montclair New Jersey (Played at Red Bull Arena in 2015 and 2016)

New York Red Bulls II will enter the 2017 season as the defending champions having dominated the USL last season en route to a title. New York’s 69 points and +40 Goal Differential were, by far, the best in the league. NYRB II needed penalty kicks to win two of its playoff matches, but cruised to a 5-1 win in the championship game.

Orlando City B

First season: 2016
2016 record: 9W-13L-8T, 35 points, -14 Goal Differential, 8th place
2016 postseason: Eliminated 4-0 by NYRB II in quarterfinals
Head Coach: Anthony Pulis
Stadium: Titan Soccer Complex, Melbourne, Florida (capacity 3,500)

Orlando City B reached the playoffs in its inaugural season in 2016, winning on the final weekend of the regular season to qualify as the No. 8 seed. OCB’s playoff run didn’t last long, being eliminated by the eventual champion NYRB II 4-0 in the conference quarterfinals.

Ottawa Fury FC

First season: 2014
2016 record (NASL): 7W-15L-10T, 31 points, -8 Goal Differential, 10th place
2016 postseason: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (capacity 24,000)

The Ottawa Fury FC will be no strangers to the Rowdies, with the teams having faced off against each other in the NASL for the past three seasons. Ottawa’s most successful season came in 2015, when the Fury FC lost in the championship match.