Charleston Battery vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, July 1, 7 p.m. ET.
MUSC Health Stadium, Charleston, S.C.
Follow us for live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday
Head to Five Bucks Drinkery on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg to watch with other Rowdies fans and enjoy drink specials during the match.
Charleston Battery: 9-4-2 (W-T-L), 31 points, 1st place
Tampa Bay: 6-6-4 (W-T-L), 24 points, 3rd place
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have dropped to third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings due to a six-game winless streak in league play. Since a 3-1 win on the road against Toronto FC II on May 19, nearly a month and a half ago, the Rowdies have gone 0-4-2 (W-T-L) to fall seven points adrift of the Battery.
The Rowdies started the year with a staunch defensive unit, keeping six clean sheets in their first nine matches to open the season. Since then, Tampa Bay hasn’t kept a clean sheet in any of its seven USL matches. The Rowdies’ last clean sheet came in a 2-0 win over Louisville City FC on May 13.
Along with the defensive slump, the Rowdies have also been mired in a scoring drought for the last several weeks. Tampa Bay hasn’t scored multiple goals in a match since a 2-2 draw on the road against the Charlotte Independence on June 4.
The Rowdies are a bit short-handed due to injuries and departures from the squad. Tampa Bay carried a roster of just 22 players through the opening months of the season and has since released forward Deshorn Brown, reducing the squad to 21, including three goalkeepers.
Defender Damion Lowe will temporarily depart the Rowdies after this match to represent Jamaica at the Gold Cup.
Forward Georgi Hristov leads the Rowdies with six goals this season. He is Tampa Bay’s Modern Era leader in appearances (128) and goals (44.) Hristov hasn’t scored since June 4, a penalty against Charlotte. His last goal from open play was on May 13.
Charleston has been the East’s best team so far this season, holding a six-point lead over Louisville City FC and seven points ahead of the Rowdies. The Battery’s 34 goals this season are the most in the USL.
Forward Romario Williams, on loan from Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC, leads the USL Golden Boot race with 13 goals in 14 appearances this season. Williams was held off the scoresheet in the Rowdies’ first meeting against Charleston.
Charleston is coming off a 6-1 home win over Toronto FC II last weekend, it’s second five-goal win of the year already. The Battery is 6-2-1 (W-T-L) at home this season. Charleston’s only home loss was a 2-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on April 8.