PITTSBURGH, Pa. (June 23, 2017) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Thursday night.
Here’s Three Things from the match…
1. Short handed
The Rowdies had just five players available on the bench last night as the injury bug has bit the Rowdies hard. Tampa Bay opened the season with a smaller squad than seasons’ past, with 22 players on the roster.
Forward Deshorn Brown joined D.C. United this week and Damion Lowe was in Martinique on international duty with Jamaica, reducing the squad to 20 players for the trip to Pittsburgh, including three goalkeepers. Injuries to Justin Chavez, Michael Nanchoff and Leo Fernandes further reduced that squad to 17 players for Thursday night, only 14 of which were field players.
As such, the Rowdies named only five players to the bench for the match against the Riverhounds. Relief could come soon, though, as Chavez is nearing his return.
2. Hit on the counter
Tampa Bay was victimized twice by the quick counter attacks of the Riverhounds.
On Pittsburgh’s first goal, the Hounds had a throw-in deep in their end and scored just a few passes later. From the time Pittsburgh threw the ball in even with its own 18-yard box to the time Chevaughn Walsh scored, only 13 seconds passed.
It’s not the first time the Rowdies have given up a goal from seemingly little danger. Rochester’s goal from June 10 comes to mind, when a long ball over the top from deep in the Rhinos’ own half led to a defensive mistake and then a goal from nothing.
It should be a point of emphasis moving forward to always be clicked in, even when the ball is far from the Rowdies’ goal.
3. More road woes
Thursday’s loss in Pittsburgh dropped Tampa Bay’s road record this season to 1-4-3 (W-T-L) this season. The Rowdies have been poor on the road in seasons past, posting a dismal 3-5-8 record in 2016 and a 1-6-8 record in 2015.
Tampa Bay has its next chance to turn it around next weekend when it visits the first-place Charleston Battery on Saturday, July 1 in a marquee matchup.