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)

Six Rowdies miss practice due to injuries

Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov, left, who has a league-high 12 goals, is questionable for Saturday’s game because of a bruised heel.


Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov, left, who has a league-high 12 goals, is questionable for Saturday’s game because of a bruised heel.

TAMPA — As if surrendering a two-goal lead and losing 4-3 Sunday to New York wasn't demoralizing enough, the Rowdies were confronted with more bad news this week.

Related News/Archive

Six players missed practice Tuesday due to injuries and are questionable for Saturday's game at Fort Lauderdale.

Most notable was F Georgi Hristov, who leads the league with 12 goals, including one Sunday before sitting out the second half with a bruised heel. Hristov had a similar injury playing in his native Bulgaria, according to Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill.

"He said that this injury felt worse pain-wise than the previous one, so we weren't too optimistic," Hill said. "But he's walking better."

Five games remain in the NASL fall season, and the Rowdies are among three teams that trail the first-place New York Cosmos by four points.

"(Hristov) was a big loss in the second period because he's one of our threats that helped make (the Cosmos) very uneasy," Hill said.

The defense has been particularly hard hit.

Frankie Sanfilippo continues to deal with a mysterious illness that saps his body of energy. Daniel Scott is limited with a sore back that has plagued him throughout the fall. Andres Arango is nursing a groin/abductor strain that kept him out Sunday. And Jordan Gafa, who replaced Arango, has a strained thigh.

Also, F Devin Del Do, who has been hampered in recent weeks by plantar fasciitis, sprained his big toe against New York.

On a positive note, forwards Carl Cort (hamstring) and Etienne Barbara (quad) are closer to full strength and could play Saturday.

Defensive deficiencies: Hill suggested personnel changes on defense could be in order after the collapse against the Cosmos.

"Too many of our defenders were under par in the second half," he said. "We had one out of four that was above par, and that was (Sanfilippo)."

The defense has been exposed at various points during the fall season. San Antonio scored three goals in 18 minutes in the opener. Atlanta nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit with 20 minutes left, but GK Diego Restrepo preserved a victory.

Against New York, the deficiencies finally caught up.

"We never stopped the ball," Hill said. "We never cleared our lines with any real purpose. We didn't have composure.

"It's a problem we've had all year. When pressure comes on us, we start to wilt."

Hill's future: Hill's contract ends Dec. 31, and he and the team are in negotiations for an extension.

"I've had a great three years here in terms of enjoyment, in terms of the quality of the organization and how we try to do things the right way," Hill said. "It's been a very, very good experience for me. And I'd like it to continue if possible. But who knows?"

Hill is 31-21-25 in the regular season. The Rowdies won the NASL title in 2012, for which Hill was named coach of the year.

Six Rowdies miss practice due to injuries 10/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 8:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nikita Kucherov in a wide-ranging Q&A


    While Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has a tendency to be quiet around the media, he's a Russian with a variety of interests and a passionate hockey mind.

    Nikita Kucherov recently did a Q&A with Russia's, in which he addressed an array of topics.
  2. Steven Souza's two passions collide in charity fantasy football event

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Souza knows a thing or two about football.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  3. Vibe is good around Clearwater volleyball this season

    Volleyball Preps

    CLEARWATER — Katy Rice knows what a good volleyball team looks like, and the Clearwater coach believes she has a pretty good one this year. Rice was a left-side hitter on the only two teams to win a volleyball state championship at Clearwater, in 1997 and 2000.

    Clearwater High School girl's volleyball player Hailey Bosetti (OPP) plays the ball during team practice on Monday (8/14/17) at the school in Clearwater.
  4. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: "I got your back."

    Then he proved it.

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]