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)

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.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

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

Loading...
  1. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  2. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32 (left), was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with boss Larry McCabe when he saw three men …

  3. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.

  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.