Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charlotte Independence
Saturday, September 23, 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 p.m.
Shaggy will perform a concert inside the stadium shortly after the conclusion of the match. Fans will be allowed on the field following an announcement over the PA system.
How to Watch
The match will be broadcast locally 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.
Tampa Bay: 11-8-7 (W-T-L), 41 points, 5th place Eastern Conference
Charlotte Independence: 13-9-6 (W-T-L), 48 points, 2nd place Eastern Conference
Tonight marks the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ first match in more than two weeks, since a 3-2 road win over the Harrisburg City Islanders on September 6. Following that match, Tampa Bay had a road game in Bethlehem postponed due to Hurricane Irma and then a scheduled bye week, resulting in 17 days between matches.
While the Rowdies may be well rested coming into tonight’s contest, they have a hectic schedule coming up. The final six matches of the season will be played over the course of just 20 days, including road trips to Bethlehem, San Antonio and Orlando.
Tampa Bay finds itself in the middle of the pack in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings, in fifth place coming into tonight. The Rowdies are two points behind the Rochester Rhinos for fourth place and a home game in the first round of the playoffs, but with a game in hand.
The Rowdies won their last match 3-2 despite conceding first. Georgi Hristov scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season to go along with one goal from Martin Paterson to carry the Rowdies to victory. Those two players are tied for the team lead in scoring with 10 goals each in all competitions, though all of Hristov’s goals have come in USL play.
Tampa Bay has been close to dominant at home this season, posting nine wins and only one loss in 13 matches at Al Lang Stadium this season. The lone loss came to the Charleston Battery on April 22, meaning the Rowdies enter tonight on a nine-game unbeaten run in league play.
The Independence arrives in St. Petersburg as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. For most of August, Charlotte led the Conference, but a recent dip in form has seen them slip to second place, six points behind Louisville City FC.
Charlotte is coming off a 3-0 loss to the Charleston Battery on Wednesday night in South Carolina. The Independence’s record away from home this year is fairly robust at 6-4-4, though they have conceded three goals in each of their last two road games, both losses.
Enzo Martinez leads the way offensively for Charlotte with 16 goals this season. He’s tied with Reno 1868 FC’s Dane Kelly at the top of the USL’s Golden Boot race. Teammate Jorge Herrera is only four behind with 12 goals of his own.