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)

Injuries putting new twist on Tampa Bay Rowdies lineup

Midfielder Jeremy Christie, left, is not likely to play Saturday because of a head injury.


Midfielder Jeremy Christie, left, is not likely to play Saturday because of a head injury.

TAMPA — With injuries ravaging the Rowdies as the midseason mark approaches, coach Paul Dalglish faces a challenge.

When Tampa Bay (5-5-4, 19 points but just one in its past five games) travels to Minnesota on Saturday, it will be without two key starters: Striker Aaron Wheeler is out six to eight weeks with a stress fracture in his right leg, and midfielder Erik Ustruck might miss the rest of the season with a broken leg.

Also, key defender Scott Buete is also out six to eight weeks because of a hernia.

Now midfielder Jeremy Christie, who scored a goal Sunday in Miami in his return from playing for New Zealand in the World Cup, could miss the game. He has concussionlike symptoms after being hit in the head by the ball on a late free kick Sunday.

Matters could have been worse along the back row, but defender Joe Donoho, who missed Sunday's game due to injury, is back practicing.

During practice Wednesday, Dalglish tinkered with his lineup, trying players in different spots.

Tampa Bay has to find new ways of creating offense, especially with Wheeler, one of its top scoring threats, out for the long term.

"We're trying to make as many players as we can versatile, because we don't have the luxury of having a big squad," Dalglish said.

"We might have to call (players) in different positions than they're used to."

The Rowdies have one of the smallest squads in U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2. They carry 22 players, three of them goalkeepers.

Help arrived Wednesday in Andre Akpan, a forward who joins the team for at least the next month on loan from MLS Colorado. Dalglish said he hopes to get at least one more player on loan.

MORE ON CHRISTIE: Christie's availability for Saturday will depend on the results of a CAT scan scheduled for today.

While part of a defensive wall during stoppage time against Miami, Christie was hit in the head by the ball on a free kick by Christian Gomez.

Christie said he doesn't remember much about the game, even the goal he scored in the 82nd minute.

"There are a few things the boys have told me, but nothing I can remember myself," said Christie, who sat out Wednesday's practice. "They told me my goal was rubbish, but I don't think that's true."

Christie said he feels fine physically and would have practiced Wednesday were it up to him.

"I guess you have to take the advice of the experts," he said. "Maybe (the ball) might have hit me harder than I'm used to, but, I mean, it's one of those things that happens in football."

Dalglish said he's preparing to be without Christie on Saturday.

"I'm not too confident, to be honest, because anything with a head injury, if the doctors tell me not to play him, I don't play him," Dalglish said.

STARGAZING: The Rowdies have split two meetings with Minnesota (6-9-2, 20 points), losing 1-0 in the second game of the season and winning 3-1 on May 27 at Steinbrenner Field.

Dalglish would like to duplicate the effort of the win, which might have been one of the Rowdies' best games all season. Tampa Bay scored three goals in the first 26 minutes.

"I think when we played them at home, we didn't give them a moment to settle or even breathe," Dalglish said. "That was the way you play soccer. Hopefully we can do the same in Minnesota. I know what to expect from them, so that helps."


Rowdies vs. Minnesota

When/where: 8 p.m. Saturday, National Sports Center, Blaine, Minn.

Next home game: July 15 vs. Puerto Rico, 7:30 p.m., Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

Tickets: Toll-free 1-888-757-6934,

Injuries putting new twist on Tampa Bay Rowdies lineup 07/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.