Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Evaluating the Tampa Bay Rowdies at midseason

ST. PETERSBURG

The Tampa Bay Rowdies enter the annual July 4 Florida derby against bitter rival Fort Lauderdale at Al Lang Field having won three matches in a row and jumping from fifth place in the NASL standings to third.

With the regular season halfway complete — the Rowdies have played 14 of 28 league matches — now is the time to examine what went right for the Rowdies in the first half of the season, and what to look forward to in the second.

Best performance (team)

Rowdies 3, San Antonio 2 at Al Lang (June 23): The Scorpions came to St. Petersburg at the top of the NASL and in the midst of a nine-match league unbeaten streak. Tampa Bay entered having lost three of its previous four but showed resiliency a week earlier in rallying to win at Minnesota. Against San Antonio, the Rowdies displayed even greater resolve. Twice, the Rowdies responded from a goal down amidst a steady downpour courtesy of Tropical Storm Debby. Keith Savage and Luke Mulholland had tying goals — Mulholland's came in the 88th minute — and Tsuyoshi Yoshitake capped the comeback with the winner in second-half stoppage time to send Al Lang into hysterics. "It was a real team effort from the whole squad," Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill said.

Honorable mention

Rowdies 2, Minnesota 1 at NSC Stadium (June 16)

Rowdies 3, Fort Lauderdale 1 at Al Lang (April 28)

First half MVP

F Tsuyoshi Yoshitake: To gauge the Japanese product's indispensability, look at Tampa Bay's record in matches Yoshitake has missed. After suffering a chest injury in a brutal collision May 19 in Atlanta, Yoshitake missed three league matches and the Rowdies lost twice and tied once. With Yoshitake's return, the Rowdies have won three in a row against quality opponents. Yoshitake has four goals in those three games and leads the Rowdies in goals (five) and points (12).

Honorable mention

D Takuya Yamada

F Luke Mulholland

Best performance (individual)

F Daniel Antoniuk, two goals at Atlanta (May 19): Playing against one of his former teams, Antoniuk scored two first-half goals and barely missed a few other chances to key a 3-2 win, the team's first road win of the season. The Philadelphia native scored in the 12th minute after a nice feed over the top from M Shane Hill. He added goal No. 2 in the 37th minute, burying M Keith Savage's header pass past Atlanta GK Daniel Illyes. Antoniuk was named NASL offensive player of the week two days later.

Honorable mention

F Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, two goals vs. San Antonio (June 23)

GK Jeff Attinella, eight saves, shutout vs. FC Edmonton (April 14)

Biggest surprise

D Daniel Scott: Hawaii-born Scott used J.P. Rodrigues' call up to the Guyana National Team as a means to break into the top 11 and has since started the past four games. Now, with Rodrigues back, a defense with Scott and Rodrigues in the center and Takuya Yamada and Frankie Sanfilippo on the sides has produced three straight wins. Hill is pragmatic in his player selections; if the team wins, he won't tinker with the lineup. So expect to see more of Scott in the season's second half.

Honorable mention

D Draymond Washington's play as an attacking left back

F Luke Mulholland's quality in his first full NASL season

. Tonight

Rowdies vs. Fort Lauderdale

When/where: 6:30; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg

Light up the bay: Fans are invited to come onto the field and watch the City of St. Petersburg's fireworks display from the outfield grass following the match.

Records: Rowdies 6-5-3 (21 points); Fort Lauderdale 5-5-4 (19 points)

Last time: Tampa Bay beat Minnesota 2-0 Saturday at Al Lang. Fort Lauderdale halted Carolina's four-game league win streak with a 2-1 win at Lockhart Stadium.

Notes: Rowdies G Jeff Attinella won the NASL's Defensive Player of the Week award for the second time this season following his clean sheet against Minnesota. … Since the return of the Tampa Bay franchise in 2010, the team has lost only once to Fort Lauderdale in 10 matches. … Rowdies F Mike Ambersley has three goals this season, all game winners.

Evaluating the Tampa Bay Rowdies at midseason 07/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour

    Minors

    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  2. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  3. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  4. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  5. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.