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Tampa Bay Rowdies at Puerto Rico Islanders soccer preview

Tonight

Rowdies at Puerto Rico

When/where: 8:05; Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel, Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Internet: fctampabay.com; en.prislandersfc.com

Last meeting: Tampa Bay beat Puerto Rico 2-1 on May 29. Aaron Wheeler scored a goal late in the first half then assisted on Aaron King's winner in the 83rd minute in front of 5,023 at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The opponent: The Islanders (3-5-1, 10 points) enter tonight's game having won just one of their past seven games (1-5-1), but they earned a 1-1 draw with USL Conference leader Vancouver on Wednesday at home. They have struggled offensively. Take away a 4-2 win over Miami on June 2 and Puerto Rico hasn't scored more than one goal in a game during that stretch. This is the last game in a three-game, eight-day home­stand.

The standings: The Rowdies (5-3-3, 18 points) are tied for second in the USL Conference and trail conference leader Austin (7-2-3) by six points. Puerto Rico sits in last place in the six-team USL Conference and has played just nine games, two fewer than any other team in the conference.

Team leaders: King and Wheeler lead the Rowdies with four goals each in league play. Wheeler is tied for seventh in the league in points (nine). Puerto Rico's David Foley has a team-high four goals, and Nicholas Addlery's 32 shots are third most in the league.

News and notes: The Rowdies and Islanders are two of the top three scoring teams in the league. Tampa Bay ranks second with 18 goals and Puerto Rico third with 14. … Puerto Rico's 135 total shots trail only Portland (141). … Through a contest that drew 1,000 entries, the Rowdies have named their giant green-and-yellow-striped mascot Hoops.

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rowdies at Puerto Rico Islanders soccer preview 06/18/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 18, 2010 8:10pm]
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