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Match Preview: Rowdies Host Ottawa

By Rowdies Communications, 04/06/18, 1:00PM EDT


The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Ottawa Fury FC
Saturday, April 7, 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.

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, is for PASS HOLDERS ONLY and opens at 4 p.m. For more parking options, click here.

Tampa Bay: 2-1-0 (W-L-T), 6 points, 2nd place, Eastern Conference
Ottawa Fury FC: 0-1-0 (W-L-T), 0 points, 15th place, Eastern Conference

Rowdies Notes
The Tampa Bay Rowdies return home following their first loss of the 2018 season, a 1-0 defeat in Louisville to Louisville City FC last Saturday afternoon. Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell made two changes to his team, inserting Lance Rozeboom and Sebastian Guenzatti into the starting lineup in place of Joe Cole and Junior Flemmings, respectively.

Tampa Bay returns home hoping to continue its impressive form at Al Lang Stadium. Since the start of 2017, the Rowdies have only lost one regular season match at home. The Rowdies haven’t been shut out at home since August 20, 2016, a span of 26 matches that predates the Rowdies’ tenure in the USL.

Before being kept off the scoresheet last weekend in Louisville, Leo Fernandes and Georgi Hristov had scored a goal in each of the Rowdies matches so far this season to lead the team in scoring.

With two goals to his name so far in 2018, Georgi Hristov is now just two goals short of tying Rowdies legend Derek Smethurst for the all-time franchise scoring record of 57 goals. Hristov has scored six career goals against Ottawa.  

Lance Rozeboom could have the opportunity to face a former club Saturday night. He played the previous two seasons for Ottawa, including serving as captain in 2017.

Tampa Bay made one transaction this week, signing forward Leon Taylor as a depth option. Taylor trained with the Rowdies for several weeks before signing. He is not expected to be included in Tampa Bay’s squad this weekend.

Scouting Ottawa
Ottawa arrives in St. Petersburg seeking shelter from cold weather. Due to a frigid spring season so far in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa only began training outdoors this week. The Fury FC has only played once this season. After opening the year with a loss on the road in Charlotte, Ottawa had a scheduled bye in week two. In week three, Ottawa road match in Toronto was postponed due to poor field conditions, meaning by the time Saturday’s match kicks off, it will have been three weeks since Ottawa last played.

Ottawa has a new look this year with new Head Coach Nikola Popovic, who joined the Fury FC this winter after guiding the Swope Park Rangers to a Western Conference Championship last season.

The Fury FC’s only match this year wasn’t an ideal one, with Ottawa falling to a 4-1 defeat in Charlotte on opening weekend, including an unlucky own goal from Kyle Porter, who played for the Rowdies last season. Sito Seoane scored Ottawa’s only goal.