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Match Preview: Rowdies Host Charleston

By Rowdies Communications, 07/21/17, 1:30PM EDT


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

Tickets for Saturday’s match are available by calling (727) 222-2000 or clicking here. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast nationwide on thisTV Tampa Bay and online on the USL’s official 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. Due to the match being on a business day, the parking lot may be more full than usual during business hours.

Tampa Bay: 7-7-5 (W-T-L), 28 points, 4th place Eastern Conference
Charleston Battery: 10-5-3 (W-T-L), 35 points, 1st place Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
After a seven-game winless streak from May 24 to July 1 which saw Tampa Bay drop from second place to fourth, the Rowdies have had a slight recovery in form in recent weeks. The Rowdies beat FC Cincinnati 2-0 on July 6 and were a few minutes short of beating Orlando City B on July 13, only to concede a penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time for a 1-1 draw.

The Rowdies are winless against the Charleston Battery with an 0-0-2 (W-T-L) record against the Eastern Conference leaders this year. In both matches this season, the score has been tied as late as the 70th minute, only for Charleston to surge late and win on both occasions.

This month, the Rowdies have tweaked things tactically, opting for a 4-3-3 formation rather than the 4-2-3-1 that had been deployed all season previously. The Rowdies are 1-1-1 in their new formation.

Tampa Bay announced the signing of wide midfielder Walter Restrepo on Thursday afternoon, shortly after he was released by the New York Cosmos.

Forward Martin Paterson is in a good vein of form entering this match. Paterson has scored the opening goal in each of the Rowdies’ last two matches, running his count to four goals in USL play and five in all competitions. All five of his goals have been scored with his first touch and have included goals scored with his head and both of his feet.

Defender Zac Portillos has started each of the last two matches at left back after more than a years’ absence due to a ruptured Achilles’ suffered last May. Portillos made his 2017 debut in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 16, but had to wait until July 6 for his league debut.

The Rowdies will be without center back Damion Lowe again as he remains on international duty with Jamaica at the Gold Cup. Lowe has played every minute of the tournament so far as Jamaica has advanced to the semifinals.

Scouting Charleston
Charleston has been the class of the Eastern Conference this season with 35 points on the year, though its lead at the top is narrowing. The Battery suffered a surprising loss last weekend, falling 1-0 on the road to the Saint Louis FC, which is in 13th place of 15 teams in the East.

The Battery will be without the USL Golden Boot leader this weekend, as Romario Williams remains on international duty with the Jamaican National Team at the Gold Cup. Williams scored a goal in Jamaica’s 2-1 quarterfinal win over Canada on Thursday night. Led by William’s 14 goals, Charleston has scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference this year with 37.

Charleston will be without creative midfielder Dante Marini, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last weekend. Marini has two goals and two assists this season.