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Match Preview: Rowdies Meet Charleston For First Time

By Rowdies Communications, 04/21/17, 11:45AM EDT


The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charleston Battery
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET.
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday

Tickets for Saturday’s match are available by calling (727) 222-2000 or clicking here. Take advantage of the Rowdies’ new Hat Trick Pack and get a ticket to each of the Rowdies next three home matches for just $33!

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast on thisTV Tampa Bay and on the USL’s Youtube channel here.

There are several options for parking at Al Lang Stadium and around downtown. Parking in Lot A, right in front of the stadium, costs $5. Lot A opens at 4 p.m. For more parking options, click here.

Tampa Bay: 3-1-1 (W-T-L), 10 points, 1st place Eastern Conference
Charleston Battery: 3-0-1 (W-T-L), 9 points, 4th place Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
Tampa Bay is coming off what may prove to be its most difficult road trip all season, losing 2-1 in Louisville last weekend and drawing 1-1 in Cincinnati on Wednesday night. The two matches were played in front of a combined 24,318 fans. Despite picking up just one point on the road, the Rowdies return home atop the Eastern Conference standings, tied with Louisville and Saint Louis on points but ahead on goal difference. Tampa Bay has been nearly perfect at Al Lang Stadium this season, winning its three matches by a combined score of 6-0.

Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell made four changes to his starting lineup for Wednesday’s match in Cincinnati, with Matt Pickens, Justin Chavez, Darwin Jones and Leo Fernandes all entering the lineup. For three of those players, all but Fernandes, it was their first start of the season.

Midfielder Leo Fernandes made his return from injury against FC Cincinnati after missing the previous two matches with an ankle injury. Fernandes started Tampa Bay’s first two matches of the year before being sidelined.

Scouting Charleston
Charleston is one of the oldest clubs in the USL, founded in 1993. Its home stadium, MUSC Health Stadium, opened in 1999 as the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. Despite their long history and relatively close proximity, the Rowdies have never played against Charleston.

For the second straight match, the Rowdies will have to defend a forward that’s coming off a hat trick in his last match. Cincinnati forward Djiby Fall was named USL Player of the Week after scoring four goals for Cincinnati last weekend, but the Rowdies kept him off the scoresheet Wednesday night. Charleston’s Romario Williams, on loan from Atlanta United FC, is in form coming into this match after scoring an 11-minute hat trick in the Battery’s 5-0 thrashing of the Rochester Rhinos last weekend.

Charleston reached the Eastern Conference semifinals last season and is off to a good start this year. The Battery’s +7 goal differential is the best in the east. Williams has scored a team-high four goals this season.