New York Red Bulls II vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, September 2, 4 p.m. ET.
MSU Soccer Park, Montclair, N.J.
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.
New York Red Bulls II: 9-5-11 (W-T-L), 32 points, 10th place
Tampa Bay: 10-8-6 (W-T-L), 38 points, 4th place
The Tampa Bay Rowdies were off last weekend on a bye, but remained in fourth place and got some help as the three teams above them in the standings all lost. As it stands, the Rowdies hold fourth place via goal difference over the Rochester Rhinos, who also have 38 points, though the Rhinos have a game in hand.
This match is the first of three-straight road games in the northeast for Tampa Bay, which will also visit the Harrisburg City Islanders and Bethlehem Steel FC in the next week. The Rowdies will return home after this match before hitting the road Tuesday for the next two matches. The team will not return home following the match in Harrisburg, instead traveling directly to Bethlehem.
The bye week helped the Rowdies from a health standpoint as both Joe Cole and Keith Savage have come off the injury list and are available for selection this week. Cole hasn’t played since he was forced out in the seventh minute on August 5 due to a back injury. Savage hasn’t been in a matchday squad since July 13 due to an ankle injury suffered in Orlando.
The Rowdies could have a debutant this week in center back Hunter Gorskie, who signed with the club on August 22. Gorskie, a New York City native, played three seasons for the New York Cosmos before moving overseas with Miedz Legnica in Poland.
While Tampa Bay boasts a strong home record this season, the Rowdies haven’t been great on the road this season, winning just once in 11 matches away from St. Petersburg in 2017. In the last three seasons, the Rowdies are just 5-16-20 (W-T-L) on the road.
Scouting New York Red Bulls II
The defending champions find themselves outside of the playoff positions with seven matches left to play, but they’re only two points behind FC Cincinnati, the team currently in eighth place. New York is amongst the teams with the fewest draws in the league, meaning it’s typically feast or famine this year for the Red Bulls as most matches end with someone picking up the three points.
The Red Bulls have had a few significant departures this summer, with both Brandon Allen and Vincent Bezecourt leaving the squad. Allen led the team in scoring with nine goals, but joined Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United FC on July 15. Bezecourt led the Red Bulls II in assists with seven, but he signed an MLS contract with the first team on August 11. Both players are unlikely to feature with Red Bulls II this weekend, but there is an outside chance.
New York has been ok at home this season on its new home field at Montclair State University, posting a 8-0-6 (W-T-L) record so far. The Red Bulls have won three-straight home matches and four of their last five, including a 4-0 demolition of FC Cincinnati on August 19.