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)

Rowdies' spring title hopes fade

Rowdies goalie Diego Restrepo is angry after a San Antonio goal Saturday. The Rowdies have lost three in a row.


Rowdies goalie Diego Restrepo is angry after a San Antonio goal Saturday. The Rowdies have lost three in a row.

TAMPA — Mathematically, the Rowdies still have a chance to win the NASL spring season title. Realistically, they must wait until the fall to try to earn a spot in the Soccer Bowl.

Related News/Archive

With two games left, Tampa Bay sits in fourth, five points behind first-place Atlanta. To remain in contention, the Rowdies must win at Atlanta on Saturday and hope Minnesota and Carolina tie. And that's just to stay alive for one more week.

Coach Ricky Hill, whose team has lost three straight, said he will concern himself with only what he can control: his team.

"My only focus is putting together a more consistent performance; 90 minutes of top-quality play, which we are capable of doing and which we were not far off only a week ago," said Hill, whose team allowed a late goal to lose 2-1 to visiting San Antonio on Saturday. "Only we can turn it around. We've always felt that if you can't win, you don't lose. We need to get back to that mantra as soon as we can."

Formation change: Hill tinkered with the formation Saturday, discarding the 4-4-2 he had used all season for a 4-3-1-2 that allows for more attacking options. He said he was pleased with the results despite limited practice time.

"I think we can afford to have another forward body in advanced areas to maybe be more of an attacking threat," he said; "maybe be able to keep the ball for longer periods higher up the field as opposed to having to build up from deeper."

Two to one: MF Shane Hill's suspension was reduced from two games to one on appeal, so he will be available Saturday. Hill was given a red card for a postgame skirmish in Carolina on June 8. But Hill goes on probation, meaning the two-game suspension returns if he's involved in a similar incident.

Perfect attendance: The Rowdies will have all of their players available Saturday.

D Takuya Yamada, who missed two games with a groin injury, practiced all week. D Andres Arango also will return from a red card suspension. F Carl Cort remains healthy after playing about 30 minutes against San Antonio. And D Jordan Gafa, dealing with a hamstring injury, practiced Thursday.

Only once this season have the Rowdies fielded the same starting lineup in consecutive games, May 25 against Minnesota and May 29 against Seattle.

Rowdies' spring title hopes fade 06/20/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs roundtable: Time for another kicking panic?


    Five days after the beleaguered Roberto Aguayo got cut after missing a PAT and a field goal, new Bucs kicker Nick Folk had a PAT blocked and missed a field goal.

  2. The Bloomingdale's that a Ruth baseball built

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — A treasure, possibly worth half a million dollars, could lie behind a granite slab at the base of the Bloomingdale's flagship store in Manhattan in New York City, just a few feet from a window displaying designer handbags: a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

    According to reports from 1930, this cornerstone of Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City could have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and other items entombed with instructions not to open for 200 years. The Ruth ball, if there and in good condition, could be worth a record $500,000. [ New York Times]
  3. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    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.