ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 1, 2018) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies had the weekend off and had to sit as bystanders as nearly every other team in the Eastern Conference had a chance to extend the Rowdies’ gap to the playoffs, but it actually wasn’t too bad of a weekend for Tampa Bay.
With most of the bubble teams now having played an equal number of matches, the Rowdies are four points out of the playoffs with nine points left on offer, but Tampa Bay still has one game in hand on Bethlehem and two games in hand on Ottawa.
For a full wrap on the biggest storylines from around the league, click here. Here’s a look at how the matches we highlighted last week turned out.
Charlotte Independence 2 - 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
SportsPlex at Matthews, Matthews, North Carolina
Charlotte nearly pulled off a big result, taking a late 2-1 lead over Pittsburgh with Eamon Zayed’s 86th minute go-ahead goal, but Pittsburgh drew level in the fourth minute of added time to hold the Independence to just one point. Charlotte is now six points back of the line and faces a tricky week, visiting Penn FC on Wednesday night and then St. Pete this weekend.
North Carolina FC 3 - 2 Richmond Kickers
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina
North Carolina was the lone bubble team to win this weekend, but it was tougher than it appeared on paper. Richmond led the match twice, but North Carolina pulled ahead for good in the 73rd minute via Kyle Bekker. North Carolina now has a full week to prepare for a big showdown with New York Red Bulls II.
Nashville SC 1 - 1 New York Red Bulls II
First Tennessee Park, Nashville, Tennessee
Both teams scored in the first 25 minutes and settled for a draw that didn’t really help either side. New York could have taken a 2-0 lead in the 14th minute, but Matt Pickens saved a Tom Barlow penalty and Nashville evened the match 10 minutes later. New York played more than an hour down a man, but still held strong for a point.
Ottawa Fury FC 0 - 0 Bethlehem Steel FC
TD Place, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Ottawa really needed a win as they now have just one match to play in the regular season, a tough home game against Charleston. Both teams are positioned well in the table, but will have to sweat out other results in the next two weeks as teams make up games below them.