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Match Preview: #CLTvTBR

By Rowdies Communications, 06/26/18, 11:45AM EDT


The Basics
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charlotte Independence
Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, NC
Follow us for live updates on Twitter at @RowdiesGameday

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast locally on thisTV Tampa Bay and online on ESPN+ (subscription required), the official streaming partner of the USL, here. International viewers in regions where ESPN+ is not offered can watch the match here. Fans in the Tampa Bay area can also listen to the game live on WHNZ 1250 AM.

Tampa Bay: 5-6-3 (W-L-T); 2-5-0 on road; T-11th place 
Penn FC: 6-4-5; 4-1-3 at home; T-4th place

From the Head Coach
Neill Collins on Wednesday's Match
“We’re coming off a tough loss at home which ended a very long unbeaten streak at Al Lang Stadium. We’re excited to play Wednesday, to go ahead and put it behind us and earn a positive result. We’re dealing with some injury problems as we speak, but I have all the confidence in our squad that the players I call upon will be up for the task.”

“Charlotte have some quality players that can make a difference, but if we can implement our game, we’ll have a chance at the three points. We need to get accustomed to playing away from home, as we can’t go to another stadium and play the same style as we do at Al Lang Stadium. We know that and now it’s time to implement that.”

Rowdies Notes
Following a 2-1 loss to Penn FC, the Rowdies not only have lost veteran midfielder Marcel Schäfer, who retired from his professional playing career after Friday's match, but also their unbeaten streak at home that dated back to April 22nd, 2017. A stretch that lasted 18 matches, the loss to Penn FC also marks only the second time that the Rowdies have hosted and lost in USL regular season play since joining ahead of the 2017 campaign.

With Schäfer gone, midfielder Junior Flemmings ruled out, and upstart forward Leon Taylor suspended after taking a red card on Friday, the Rowdies will look to the bench for support against Charlotte. With a few new additions coming to the club in the past few weeks, it's possible one of these newcomers will debut against Charlotte. Afrim Taku, recently acquired from the Albanian club Skënderbeu Korçë, was on the bench against Penn but could find himself not only on the field but in the starting XI with the Rowdies being a bit shorthanded.

On the other side, Charlotte is 1-1-3 in their last five matches and are coming off a 1-1 tie in Richmond against the Kickers. Despite dominating possession for most of the match, the Independence were handicapped by an early Richmond score in the 6th minute. Charlotte would equalize shortly after from Cordell Cato's 7th goal of the season putting him in a nine-way tie for fifth place in scoring in the USL. The second half was much less eventful as Richmond held tough and took a point.

  • Suspended: Leon Taylor (Red Card)
    • Injury Report: OUT: D David Najem (torn ACL, April 14)    
                                                    D Kyle Curinga (sprained ankle, May 12)
                                                    D Zac Portillos (left knee sprain, May 26)    
                                                    M Lance Rozeboom (right knee sprain, June 2)
                                                    M Junior Flemmings (upper body injury)