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)

Tampa Bay Rowdies get scoring chances but mostly can't convert

TAMPA — Increasingly, the Rowdies, playing their inaugural season in the U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2, have been controlling more and more of the possessions.

They held the edge in a 1-0 loss at Minnesota on April 24. And in Saturday's come-from-behind 1-1 tie at Miami, the Rowdies (1-1-1) kept the ball for much of the game before finally getting rewarded with Julian Valentin's 82nd-minute header.

That has coach Paul Dalglish optimistic heading into Saturday's home opener against Austin.

"We're ahead of schedule. I just think being an expansion team, if you look at the performances of our first three games, I think our worst performance was against Baltimore (in the season opener), when we won (1-0)," Dalglish said Wednesday after practice over the hum of power washers preparing Steinbrenner Field for Saturday.

"We've been really unlucky in the last two games. We've dominated possession in both. I mean we peppered the goal against Miami, and their goalkeeper came up big on numerous occasions and kept them in the game. I just think it's so positive, the early signs, how the team's progressing."

The Rowdies forced Miami's Caleb Patterson-Sewell to make what Dalglish called "five or six world class saves" after Valentin broke through and were unlucky in not coming away with the three points that come with a win.

Maybe a sign the Rowdies are poised to break out of their scoring slump?

"The worrying thing is when you don't create goal-scoring opportunities," Dalglish said, "because I know these guys can finish."

OPENING NIGHT: More than 5,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's game, and Rowdies officials are hoping to come close to selling out. (Capacity is 8,000 but can be expanded to 10,000.)

The players are looking forward to performing in front of a raucous crowd, especially after opening the season with three road games that drew an average of just more than 1,600.

"I love when there are a lot of people at the game to cheer me on, to watch the game and have a love for the game," Rowdies midfielder Pascal Millien said. "That makes me feel like I want to work more to give them something so when they go home, they say, 'I had fun at the game.' "

GRADUATION DAY: Saturday will be the highlight of a big week for Millien.

Hours before the game, Millien will attend his graduation ceremony from the University of Tampa at the St. Pete Times Forum. Millien, who celebrated his 24th birthday Monday, will receive his bachelor's degree in sports management.

The Haitian-born Millien, who went to high school in Auburndale, will have plenty of family on hand for both events.

"It's been like having two full-time jobs," he said. "It was kind of tough, but it's going to be an emotional moment, seeing some of my friends for the last time."

THE INSIDE DIRT: The Rowdies practiced at Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday and Wednesday to get a feel for the playing surface. The grass turf drew rave reviews.

"The turf is incredible," Dalglish said. "It's what you come to expect from the Yankees. Everything they do is top class."

The dirt infield, not so much.

Defender Robert Valentino took a hard spill on the packed, concrete-like dirt after going up high for a header and crashing on his back.

"I'll probably feel it (in the) morning, but I'll be good," he said.

Only a small portion of the field — in the corner near the goal — will be dirt, but the Rowdies hope to use it to their advantage.

"We know what to expect," Dalglish said. "So we can get used to it."

KICKS IN THE GRASS: Rodney Marsh, a great on the Rowdies' old NASL teams, was at Wednesday's practice. He'll be doing color commentary at Saturday's game for Bright House Sports Network. … All of the former Rowdies will be honored in a pregame ceremony Saturday. … The Rowdies visited patients at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg on Wednesday after their two-hour training session. … Steinbrenner Field will undergo its complete transformation from baseball stadium to soccer facility Friday morning.

up next

Rowdies vs. Austin

When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

Tickets: Toll-free 1-888-757-6934

Tampa Bay Rowdies get scoring chances but mostly can't convert 05/05/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.