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Match Preview: Rowdies Make First Trip To Rochester Since 2010

By Rowdies Communications, 05/23/17, 1:30PM EDT


The Basics
Rochester Rhinos vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Wednesday, May 24, 7:05 p.m. ET.
Capelli Sport Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday

How to Watch
This match is the USL Game of the Week and will be broadcast online exclusively on ESPN3. It will not be available on YouTube for American viewers. American viewers can only watch the match via ESPN3.

Watch Party
Head to Five Bucks Drinkery on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg to watch with other Rowdies fans and enjoy drink specials during the match.

Rochester: 2-3-1 (W-T-L), 9 points, 10th place
Tampa Bay: 6-2-2 (W-T-L), 20 points, 2nd place

Rowdies Notes
For the first time ever, the Rowdies will play a match with a Video Assistant Referee in use. More information of the USL’s implementation of VAR is available here.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies picked up an important come-from-behind 3-1 road win over Toronto FC II last Friday, moving into a tie for first place in the USL Eastern Conference with the Charleston Battery. The Rowdies are one goal behind the Battery on goal difference and Tampa Bay has played one more match than Charleston.

After trailing at halftime, Tampa Bay scored three goals in 14 minutes late in the match to turn the result around and pick up three points. Joe Cole leveled the match in the 68th minute. Martin Paterson gave the Rowdies a 2-1 lead in the 80th minute just 21 seconds after entering the match and Darwin Jones finished the scoring with his first goal of the season in the 82nd minute.

It was the second time this season the Rowdies have scored three goals in 15 minutes or less. The first was also against Toronto FC II on April 1.

Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens conceded his first goal in four matches in the 10th minute against Toronto, beaten one-on-one by TFC II’s Luca Uccello, who bested the Rowdies’ high offside trap. Pickens is second in the league with three clean sheets despite missing the first three matches of the season injured.

Tampa Bay midfielder Justin Chavez will miss this match after picking up a toe injury in the first half against Toronto FC II.

This match comes in a congested portion of the Rowdies’ schedule. It is Tampa Bay’s fourth game in 12 days. The Rowdies won all of the first three matches by a combined score of 8-1. After playing the Rhinos, the Rowdies will return home to host Saint Louis FC on Saturday night and then visit the NASL’s Miami FC in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Wednesday.

Scouting Rochester
Rochester sits just outside the current playoff field despite playing the fewest games of any team in the USL, tied with Charlotte. Rochester has played just six league matches, compared to 10 for the Rowdies.

Rochester and the Rowdies last met in 2010, when they both played in the USSF D-II Pro League. The Rhinos won both meetings that year by a combined score of 4-0. Tampa Bay last visited Rochester on Sept. 11, 2010, losing 3-0.

The Rhinos are coming off a 1-1 draw at home against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday. Kenardo Forbes gave the Rhinos a lead in the 32nd minute, but Richmond equalized before halftime and neither side would score again as they split the points. Forbes is in a four-way tie for Rochester’s scoring leader with Wal Fall, Michael Garzi and Darius Madison. They’ve all scored twice this season.

Rochester goalkeeper Kyle Morton played 45 minutes for the Rowdies as a trialist in January’s Florida Cup against VfL Wolfsburg. He conceded two goals. Morton’s only appearance for the Rhinos this season came in a 3-0 Open Cup win.