MATCH PREVIEW: ROWDIES VS. FC EDMONTON
TAMPA, Fla. (August 21, 2013) —
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton
Saturday, August 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Florida
Tampa Bay: 1-2-0, 5 point 2nd place
Edmonton: 1-1-1, 4 point 5th place
Tampa Bay owns a 6-3-1 mark (W-T-L) against FC Edmonton over the last two seasons, including an unbeaten streak of eight consecutive matches. Their two meetings this year finished in ties. Previously, the teams had met four times in 2012, with the Rowdies posting a 1-0 victory in both home games at Al Lang Stadium on April 14 and July 28. Tampa Bay also defeated Edmonton 1-0 and 3-0 in both visits to Clarke Stadium.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies played to a scoreless draw against FC Edmonton on June 2. Despite the Canadian team playing a man down for over 30 minutes at Clarke Stadium, the Rowdies were unable to break the 0-0 tie. Edmonton’s defender Mallan Roberts was sent off in the 53rd minute after receiving his second yellow card of the match.
Tampa Bay extended their unbeaten run to five matches last Saturday against Minnesota, when a last-minute goal by defender Andres Arango leveled the match at 1-1. The Rowdies last loss came on June 15 after they lost 2-1 at home against the San Antonio Scorpions.
When the Rowdies take the pitch on Saturday, defender Takuya Yamada will not only celebrate his 39th birthday, but he will also be competing in his 100th official match with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Yamada is the first player to reach that number in the modern era of the club.
Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo had another outstanding performance against Minnesota, earning him a spot on the NASL Team of the Week for the second time in a row. His saves, including a 90th minute point-blank save on Pablo Campos, helped Tampa Bay earn a 1-1 draw in Blaine, Minnesota. He was joined on the NASL Team of The Week by Arango, who was able to level last Saturday’s match in the dying second of the match. After missing last weekend’s match due to a one-game suspension, midfielder Luke Mulholland will be available to play against FC Edmonton. Along with forward Georgi Hristov, both Mulholland and the Bulgarian have been the two main offensive threats this year.
Scouting FC Edmonton
The Eddies are currently in 5th place in the NASL standings, with 4 points. After dropping their season opener on the road against the RailHawks, Edmonton bounced back with a win against the Scorpions and a draw last weekend versus the Silverbacks.
The Canadian side will feature forward Daryl Fordyce, who is returning from injury. In last weekend’s match he played 30 minutes against Atlanta and now looks to earn more playing time with the hopes of regaining his spot in the Starting XI. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty currently is tied for the most assists on the team, and in his last two matches has picked up two assists. Finally, another player to watch out for is midfielder Chris Nurse. He has made the NASL Team of the Week in two straight weeks after a dominating performance against San Antonio and then scoring the game-tying goal versus Atlanta.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
“Coming off last weekend’s draw, we have worked hard this week to improve our offensive presence in our matches. For some reason, last Saturday we were caught off guard in the first half and we did not play well. With that being said, FC Edmonton is a team that has been improving week after week and in our recent matches they have proven to be a strong side. We hope we can give our fans a win at home, something that we have been struggling with this season.”
Source: Tampa Bay Rowdies Media