With an offseason filled with history-making news – including the addition of new team owner Bill Edwards, new star players and new executive-level leadership – the Rowdies announced today that players will report for the 2014 preseason training camp on Friday, February 14. This will be the first opportunity for Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill to meet all his players and communicate his goals for the 2014 season. Preseason will begin with player physicals on Monday and Tuesday, with practice kicking off on Wednesday, February 19.
“I am really looking forward to starting a new season,” commented Coach Hill. “As the start of the season comes closer, the anticipation continues to grow. We are still looking at several players to add to our roster but we are excited with the talent that we have added over the offseason.”
The Rowdies will play their first preseason match on Saturday, March 1 against University of South Florida at Corbett Soccer Stadium on USF’s campus. For Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, this will be the first time he faces his former university since becoming a Rowdies player in 2013. Restrepo spent his freshmen and sophomore years playing for the USF Bulls. USF has enjoyed recent soccer success, with the Bulls winning the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship last year after defeating UConn in penalty kicks. USF has appeared in the NCAA Tournament in seven straight years.
The following weekend on Saturday, March 8, the Rowdies will take on The University of Tampa at Pepin Stadium in Tampa, Fla. One of the newest additions to the Rowdies will be facing his former college, as Ryan Thompson will visit UT where he made more than 50 appearances. The Spartans are coming off a 2013 Season that saw them reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference.
On Saturday, March 15, the Rowdies and Florida Gulf Coast University will play at Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg. The Division I program finished the 2013 Season on a high note, where they claimed their fourth-consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title. This is the first time a member of the A-Sun Conference has won four straight regular season championships.
In their fourth preseason match, the Rowdies will once again visit Pepin Stadium, but the rival will be the Tampa Marauders F.C. from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). This match is set to be played on Saturday, March 22. The Marauders’ inaugural season was in 2013, where they were led by head coach Maurice Loregnard. The native from Trinidad and Tobago also serves as UT’s assistant coach.
The final match of the 2014 Preseason Tour will be against Saint Leo University on Saturday March 29 at Mitchell Fields in New Port Richey, Fla. The Lions made it to the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Tournament for the second time in its program’s history after claiming the Sunshine State Conference Regular Season Title.
The Rowdies will begin their quest for the 2014 NASL Soccer Bowl against FC Edmonton on Saturday April 12 at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg.
For more information or to order 2014 season tickets, including the new Midfielder’s Premium Club Memberships, fans can e-mail [email protected] or call (813) 287-1539. For season ticket prices and a seating chart for Al Lang Stadium click here.
2014 Rowdies Preseason Tour
|Sat. 3/1||At University of South Florida||Corbett Soccer Stadium||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat. 3/8||At University of Tampa||Pepin Stadium||TBD|
|Sat. 3/15||Florida Gulf Coast University||Walter Fuller Complex||TBD|
|Sat. 3/22||Tampa Marauders||Pepin Stadium||TBD|
|Sat. 3/29||Saint Leo University||Mitchell Fields||TBD|