Injury-wise, FC Tampa Bay has been relatively fortunate in recent weeks. One troubling development, however, is worth following closely as the team pushes toward securing a postseason bid. Starting goalkeeper Jeff Attinella has missed two straight games with a shoulder injury. Attinella, a USF and Countryside High alum, was on the bench during Wednesday night's draw at Montreal and Saturday's win at Atlanta. His status for Tampa Bay's return to Al Lang Field on Saturday against Minnesota is uncertain. Backup keeper Evan Newton, on loan to the team from MLS' Houston Dynamo, has started the past two games, and he recorded a shutout in his first league appearance at Atlanta.
"Jeff has been kind of carrying a little shoulder rotation injury, possibly for the last 10 or 12 days or so," Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill said. "I think it's gotten progressively worse during that period. The thinking behind last week putting Evan in is, we were playing on a turf field, it doesn't give as much as the grass field. …We were quite confident as far as Evan's abilities. We just thought it was the right time to give Jeff a breather so the injury can heal."
Hill had hoped to have Attinella back at Montreal, but the 22-year-old suffered a setback earlier in the week.
"It's still not where it should be," Hill said. "He disrupted it a little bit on Monday. He felt it a little bit more than he had previously. … It's a day-to-day thing. With the end of the season coming up, we don't want to aggravate it."
Attinella has been stellar since taking over for Daryl Sattler, who tore his ACL on April 30.
In 14 starts, Attinella has recorded a league-high 91 saves, posted two shutouts and was honored in May as the NASL's defender of the week.
Kickin' it with | MF Mozzi Gyorio
The Canada native, 22, has been a regular starter during Tampa Bay's recent success.
You've made a handful of appearances for the U-20 Canada national team. Do you anticipate being a part of the team as it prepares for World Cup qualifying?
"We actually haven't had a camp in a while. The next one is early next year. I think the qualifying for the Olympics is going to be May. I'm in the pool of candidates. I don't have a full first-team cap yet, but hopefully I'll get there soon."
What else would you like to accomplish in your soccer career?
"I'd like to go over to Europe and play. That's been my goal ever since I was a little kid. I think the Spanish game would suit me mostly."
You've been used as a midfielder throughout your career at Tampa Bay and you have one of the most accurate shots on goal. Has there ever been any discussion of moving you up into a more attacking role?
"For the national team, they've had me playing center defensive mid, but I like to attack. Even last year with Tampa Bay, I played mainly as a defensive midfielder. I like to play as an attacking mid. I feel that best suits my game. When I was at San Jacinto College, I was used mainly as a supporting striker."
King streak snapped
Tampa Bay tied a season high with four goals at Atlanta on Saturday, but forward Aaron King was shut out, ending his five-game scoring streak in league matches. Still, King is second on Tampa Bay and tied for fifth in the NASL with six goals. Mike Ambersley leads the team with nine and is second in the league.
FC Tampa Bay rallies to tie
MONTREAL — Mozzi Gyorio buried a free kick in the 90th minute to rally FC Tampa Bay to a 3-3 draw with Montreal on Wednesday night at Saputo Stadium. Gyorio's goal capped a furious comeback that saw FCTB come back from a 3-1 deficit with less than six minutes left in the match. Midfielder Shane Hill gave FCTB a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute as he buried the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the year. It gave FC Tampa Bay at least one goal in the first half in seven consecutive games.