Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Aaron King on a scoring streak for FC Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — FC Tampa Bay forward Aaron King has never been on a scoring run quite like his current one.

Sure, there was a stretch in 2009 when he had a goal in his first three games after being traded from Carolina to Miami in the USL First Division for the final month of the season.

In all likelihood, that late scoring spell helped King earn a contract with FC Tampa Bay for the team's inaugural season. King rewarded the team by scoring a Tampa Bay-high 12 goals (third in USSF Division 2).

The 2011 season started slowly for the 27-year-old, who didn't get on the scoresheet until the 11th game. But in Tampa Bay's past four matches, King has had a goal in each.

Coincidentally, the team has also played its best soccer of late, winning three of its past five.

"(King) has worked hard all year, he's never dropped his head and he's kept going forward. Everything's been positive," said FC Tampa Bay assistant coach/defender David Hayes, who will hand head coaching duties back to Ricky Hill for tonight's contest against FC Edmonton. Hill returned to the bay area Tuesday night, missing the past two games because of the death of a family member.

"…If you saw the (July 17) Edmonton game, no one in the league can match his speed," Hayes said. "At the beginning of the year, I think it was more of us as a unit not playing to his strengths. And now we are, and he's going full stride with it."

Therein lies the quandary for King. It's quite possible that Tampa Bay's all-time leading goal scorer (17 total) was ahead of his time with the team. While King's speed gives him the ability to stretch defenses, Tampa Bay was unable to connect with the 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward consistently enough on his runs, and the team got caught out of position. The result: less playing time for King.

For much of his career, King has been a substitute, a fast-paced addition when the other team is, theoretically, wearing down. Much like a closer in baseball, King was brought on to get that late, clinching or tying goal. After starting 12 games last season, mostly when Aaron Wheeler was out injured, King made just two starts in Tampa Bay's first 13 matches of 2011, scoring once.

But since cracking the starting lineup July 4 against Fort Lauderdale, King has started four straight, scoring in all of them.

"You've got to be patient and trust in what your coaches are doing and what they see at the time," King said. "I was just trying to be patient. It was frustrating (not starting), but at the same time, you've got to keep working hard, no matter what. We're professionals."

King brings an extra dimension at a time when Tampa Bay looks to hold its place among the NASL postseason qualifiers over the final 11 games of the season — Tampa Bay is fifth; the top six teams make the playoffs.

And at his current pace, King earned a spot in the top 11 for the foreseeable future.

"If he keeps scoring goals, you can't take him out," Hayes said. "You ride him until he runs out. But then again, we have to understand he's not going to score every game. That's just unrealistic. The thing is, what he's doing differently is he's creating chaos for the other team with his runs in behind."


FC Tampa Bay vs. FC Edmonton

When/where: 7; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg

TV/radio: BHSN, 1010-AM


FC Tampa Bay vs. FC Edmonton

When/where: 7; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg

TV/radio: BHSN, 1010-AM

Aaron King on a scoring streak for FC Tampa Bay 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Chris Archer has made a name for himself on the mound. And at a time when some athletes work to steer clear of any issue with a tint of controversy for fear it could damage their brand, Archer has used that platform to weigh in on some topical social, political and news events.

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  4. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  5. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)