BLAINE, Minn. — Joe Cole scored his first goal with the Rowdies and set up Eric Avila for another in a 2-0 win against Minnesota on Saturday night.
Cole put in a header off a Kalif Alhassan cross for a 1-0 lead just before halftime. The goal was the first for the midfielder since he joined Tampa Bay (3-2-3) in early May.
"I thought we played really well, especially in the first half, and we showed a lot of character," Cole said. "We've got a lot of work to do, for sure, but we picked up the points."
Just after halftime, Avila finished a Cole through ball past Minnesota goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock into the bottom corner of the net.
"For most of our games, we've performed pretty well and the results haven't matched it," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "We feel we should have more points on the board, but credit to the players, they've never put their heads down. They've kept coming in and working hard, and we all knew that if we kept playing the way we were, things would change."
The Rowdies next play Wednesday in a U.S. Open Cup match against FC Cincinnati of the USL at Al Lang Stadium.