Rowdies at Rochester
When/where: 7; Marina Auto Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.
Online: fctampabay.com; rhinossoccer.tv
The opponent: Rochester (14-6-6, 48 points) occupies second place in the U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2 standings, one point behind league leader Austin. For playoff purposes, the Rhinos would be the No. 3 seed if the season were to end today because the USL (Austin, 49 points) and NASL (Vancouver, 41 points) conference leaders earn the top seeds for the playoffs.
Previous meeting: Rochester's Isaac Kissi scored a late goal in stoppage time to defeat the Rowdies 1-0 on July 22 at Steinbrenner Field. Tonight's game is the final of two league meetings between the teams.
League leaders: The Rowdies' Aaron King, who should be ready to go after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, ranks third in the league in goals with nine. He is fifth in total points with 18. Rochester's Troy Roberts leads the league in total minutes with 2,344 in 26 games played. The Rhinos' Andrew Hoxie has five assists, placing him third in the league.
The final five: Tampa Bay has five games left in the regular season, starting with tonight's match. On Thursday, the Rowdies host league leader Austin. Three days later (Sept. 19) the team travels to Montreal for its final road game. The Rowdies close out the regular season with games against Minnesota (Sept. 24) and Baltimore (Oct. 1) at Steinbrenner Field.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer