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)

Rowdies face potent attack in Carolina Railhawks

ST. PETERSBURG — Worry about ourselves, not the opponent. Take care of what we need to do and the rest will take care of itself.

Related News/Archive

Just about as eye-rolling as cliches can get, yes, but that's so often the approach for professional sports teams. And for the most part it's the way the Rowdies look at things.

But tonight, the Rowdies admit, is a little different. NASL-leading Carolina, 3-0 with six goals scored, is the opposition for the matchup at Al Lang Stadium.

"We must take into account how they go about things," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said.

The Railhawks love to attack, a three-forward alignment constantly looking to score. Last week's result was just 1-0 but that was due to an amazing performance from Ottawa goaltender Romuald Peisder.

Carolina leads the league with 40 shots, six per game going on target. Second-place Minnesota and New York, who trail the Railhawks by three points, also have six goals. No other team in the NASL has scored more than three.

Austin de Luz is tied for the league lead with three goals and Ty Shipilane, who had the highlight-reel goal against Ottawa, has two. Tampa Bay has just two total through three games.

So if the Rowdies, tied for fourth place with five points, want to pull to within one of Carolina, it likely can't expect a 1-0 result like last week over Edmonton.

Then again, Tampa Bay goaltender Matt Pickens must be feeling confident after his epic save of a penalty kick, on the last kick of the game, maintained that victory.

"Those things go a long way. It's just another thing to build your confidence," Pickens said. "I knew we had three points at stake. Going out there and getting our first win sets us up for a great match this weekend."

Pickens, defender Tam Mkandawire and forward Tommy Heinemann, who scored against Edmonton when he headed in Eric Avila's cross off a throw-in, were all named to the NASL team of the week.

Mkandawire cores a defensive group (along with Darnell King, Ben Sweat and newcomer Neill Collins) that has come together "a bit faster than we thought they would," Pickens said.

In fact Tampa Bay's one goal allowed is peerless through three weeks of NASL play; Carolina is the only top-five club to have allowed as many as three.

"I know it's early on, but we're a good group in the back — the four best in the league in my opinion," Pickens adds. "With Carolina, it's going to be a little different than what we've seen so far. They're more of a run-and-gun with three attackers who have pace. I think it's something to be aware of."

But, falling back on another cliche, not something to be overly concerned with tonight.

"We respect every opponent we play, but we don't fear them," Campbell said. "Ultimately, we are worried about how we play."

Tonight: Rowdies vs. Carolina

7:30, Al Lang Stadium

TV: BHSN

Tickets: Call (727) 222-2000 or visit rowdiessoccer.com

Records: Rowdies (1-0-2); Carolina (3-0)

Rowdies face potent attack in Carolina Railhawks 04/22/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 22, 2016 9:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.