Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sports

Rowdies hoping for stronger, winning homestands

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — As bad as the most recent Rowdies performance was, a 4-1 loss last Saturday at Carolina, it brought to bear something even more bothersome to the head coach.

"We've tied too many games at home," Stuart Campbell said. "If we'd have taken care of business against Jacksonville (a 1-1 tie on July 2), the Carolina game wouldn't be magnified so much. We've drawn too many games."

Meaning, had the Rowdies banked three points rather than one from the occasions Campbell references, the occasional stinker wouldn't hurt so much. Given the Rowdies have played six home games and tied three (winning two), that math would have them sitting third in the NASL's overall standings rather than tied for fifth, 17 points through 12 games.

So about that stinker.

"We had a bad day at the office," Campbell said. "We were bloody rubbish. It was the first time we'd have to all hold our hands up and say, 'It wasn't good enough.' "

Clearly the Rowdies suffered from the injury losses of defenders Tam Mkandawire and Neill Collins. Symbolically their replacements, Stefan Antonijevic and Frankie Sanfilippo, committed handballs in the penalty box to set up the second and third Railhawks goals.

But apart from that, Carolina controlled play, the lone Tampa Bay goal coming on a professional fall by Eric Avila when he was fouled in a nonthreatening position in the penalty box. It did result in a positive — Georgi Hristov's fifth goal of the season.

Five is also how many penalty kicks Tampa Bay has allowed, though goalkeeper Matt Pickens nearly saved both against Carolina.

"He's turning into a bit of a penalty kick expert, but we're not really helping him. Five has got to be some kind of record. I want my team to be aggressive but … ," Campbell said.

The coach hoped one of his injured back four — neither Mkandawire nor Collins had missed a minute of regular-season play until getting hurt during the Jacksonville contest — could return for tonight's game, but he called both game-time decisions.

Tampa Bay faces an opponent tonight that's also sick of ties. Puerto Rico, which entered the league after the spring season, led 1-0 in its opener against spring champion Indy but gave up a 93rd-minute goal. On Wednesday, Puerto Rico led 2-0 through 80 minutes at Rayo OKC before settling for 2-2, the equalizing goal coming on a penalty in the 90th minute.

With half the league off Wednesday, Campbell took in the latter contest.

"They're a big, strong team. They've performed well in their three games, probably feel a bit unlucky they haven't won one of them. I'm happy to have them back in the league," he said.

The Puerto Rico Islanders were in the NASL from 2010-12. For the new franchise, Hector Ramos has led the way with a goal in all three games.

Campbell's bunch should be ready to put its most recent outing behind it.

"That one certainly hurt my pride, I hope it hurt the players' pride," he said. "This week I've asked for them to stand up and be counted, and put on a show for their fans who so deserve it. I'm hoping it was a kick in the backside for us. I'm confident the team will respond."

Comments
USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

The new Associated Press football poll produced some Florida history Sunday.For the first time, UCF and USF are both ranked — and Florida State and Florida are both unranked — entering their respective season-ending grudge matches this weekend.The No...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pistons win again, top Wolves in close battle

MINNEAPOLIS — Andre Drummond had 20 points and 16 rebounds, Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley added 18 points each and the Pistons outlasted the Timberwolves 100-97 on Sunday night. Harris hit two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining, and Jimmy Butle...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Islanders falter a day after topping Lightning

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sebastian Aho’s scoring surge seems to be rubbing off on his teammates. Aho had a goal and two assists, Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and the Hurricanes beat the Islanders 4-2 on Sunday. Aho has scored in four straight games after fai...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMarquette vs. VCU2:30 p.m.ESPN2Wichita State vs. California4:30 p.m.ESPN2Molloy at St. John’s6:30 p.m.FS1UCLA vs. Creighton7 p.m.ESPNUTexas A&M vs. Oklahoma State7 p.m.ESPN2Jackson State at Maryland7 p.m.Big TenWomen: Butler at...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much. She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NFL Week 11: What we learned

NFL Week 11: What we learned

Is Jerry Jones the next Al Davis? Is he really going to let his anger for commissioner Roger Goodell ruin his relationship with the other owners? Should we have seen this coming? I think the answers are: Yes, probably and yes. Jones is the modern-day...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Auto racing: Martin Truex captures Cup championship

Auto racing: Martin Truex captures Cup championship

HOMESTEAD — Martin Truex capped the most successful season of his journeyman career as NASCAR’s champion. Truex wrapped up his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup title Sunday by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400, where he beat Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

TENNISDIMITROV WINS ATP FINALSLONDON — Grigor Dimitrov’s talent took him to the brink of his biggest career win — but he needed more than that to get over the line. The sixth-seeded Bulgarian claimed the title at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Resilient Saints rally, win eighth straight

Resilient Saints rally, win eighth straight

NEW ORLEANS — Alvin Kamara climbed into the Superdome stands, stood in the first row with his arms folded and soaked in the adulation of fans who had stuck around after all had looked lost. Kamara’s celebration of his 18-yard touchdown reception had ...
Updated: 2 hours ago