TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Rowdies filed an official match protest with the U. S. Soccer Federation, claiming the team played under dangerous field conditions at Puerto Rico on Saturday, when the Rowdies lost 1-0.
After seeing the puddle-riddled pitch at Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel in Bayamon, the Rowdies unsuccessfully campaigned for the match to be postponed. After the game, the team sent photos of the field to USSF.
"We were playing on a field that never should have been played on," coach Paul Dalglish said. "The ball wouldn't roll on the field."
During the game, Rowdies leading scorer Aaron Wheeler was injured and unable to play in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup game against Miami. He could be out another week. Also, striker Kwame "JJ" Adjeman-Pamboe had a breakaway against Puerto Rico that was stopped by standing water.
"We are extremely disappointed in the field conditions that our team encountered last weekend at Puerto Rico," Rowdies technical director Perry Van Der Beck said. "The safety of the players on both teams was severely compromised, and we implored both the USSF and the officials on site to not allow the match to be played. We look forward to a response from the Federation as soon as possible."
It's unclear what the outcome of the protest could be, but it appears the Rowdies mainly are concerned with making sure that a game isn't played under those conditions in the future.