ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (January 15, 2018) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed veteran defender Tamika Mkandawire to a new contract, the club announced Monday, pending federation and league approval. Per club and league policy, further contract details were not disclosed.
“It feels great to be back with the Rowdies for the 2018 season,” said Mkandawire. “Since joining the club in 2014, everyone in the Tampa Bay area has been fantastic with my family and me. I’m very excited to aim for the 100-game mark and join the ranks of Georgi, Keith, Matt, Yama and Frankie!”
Mkandawire has played for the Rowdies since the summer of 2014, making 88 appearances for Tampa Bay in all competitions. The defender will now aim to hit 100 appearances this season, and join a very select group of modern-era Rowdies players.
The 34-year old center back was born in Malawi and raised in England.
“We’re delighted to have Tam back on our team and back in our locker room,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “He’s the consummate professional both on and off the field. He’ll continue to be a great asset for our team in 2018.”
He played for several clubs in the English lower leagues, including Leyton Orient, Millwall, Southend United and Shrewsbury Town, before signing with the Rowdies and becoming a mainstay in the team. Mkandawire made 12 USL appearances for the Rowdies last season, including 10 starts, plus one more in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“We wanted to bring back a proven leader on the field, and Tam is exactly that,” said Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards. “Tam has become a fan favorite since coming over from England, and he’s the type of player you want on a championship-caliber roster. He’ll be a great piece to the puzzle as we look to bring the 2018 USL Cup to St. Petersburg!”