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 on a tear thanks to rooted roster

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Rowdies are on their most prosperous run in recent team history, having won six of their past seven matches. And probably the biggest key to their success has been continuity within the lineup.

Related News/Archive

Tampa Bay's starting 11 has remained nearly identical during the sizzling stretch, save for some tinkering with the three forwards. In five of the past six games, the personnel in midfield and on the back line stayed the same; the only tweak coming when Andres Arango started in place of J.P. Rodrigues on July 12 at Minnesota because of his red card in the previous game.

"I think everybody just has a good understanding of each other, and I think that's what's been helping us out for the last six weeks," said captain Frankie Sanfilippo, who was named the NASL's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after scoring a goal in the 2-0 win over Puerto Rico on July 21.

Sanfilippo is one of three Rowdies — along with fellow defender Takuya Yamada and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella — who have played every minute of every game this season, ensuring more than half the defense is the same every time out.

In 2011, Tampa Bay struggled to field a consistent lineup and had to overcome major injuries. Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler tore his ACL in the fourth game and was lost for the season. Chad Burt's fractured foot sidelined him nearly three months. A thigh bruise and ankle injury kept Arango in and out of the lineup.

Rodrigues had midseason arthroscopic knee surgery and also missed time after a callup from the Guyana national team. Another defender, Yendry Diaz, never made it to the field after tearing his ACL in preseason, and Jeremy Christie played in only five late-season games after offseason hip surgery.

What resulted was a string of uneven performances. The Rowdies won back-to-back games only once last season.

This season has been more fortuitous in terms of injuries, leading to greater cohesion and more victories.

"I think the spirit of the side right now is fantastic," coach Ricky Hill said. "I just really think there's a camaraderie amongst the group that you'd go a long ways to find where everyone seems to be very comfortable with everyone else and, in terms of professionalism, it's where we want it to be."

More good injury news: Defender Draymond Washington, one of the few Rowdies to sustain an injury this season, will be available for selection tonight for the first time since tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee June 9 at Puerto Rico. He returned to practice after the team's win at Edmonton on July 15.

Remember me? The Rowdies (well, technically, FC Tampa Bay) received a mention Wednesday during the ESPN2 broadcast of the MLS All-Star Game. Justin Morrow, who last year around this time was on loan to Tampa Bay from MLS's San Jose Earthquakes, made his first all-star appearance, starting at left back for the MLS All-Stars.

Morrow started two games during his short-lived loan, his second stint on loan to Tampa Bay. His first came a year earlier during the final five matches of the 2010 season.

. tonight

Rowdies vs. Edmonton

When/where: 7:30; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg

Records: Rowdies 9-6-3 (30 points); Edmonton 4-9-4 (16)

Last time out: The Rowdies defeated Puerto Rico for the first time since 2010, 2-0, behind second-half goals from Frankie Sanfilippo and Mike Ambersley. The defense held Puerto Rico to two shots on goal, and Jeff Attinella recorded his fifth shutout of the season.

Extras: Ambersley notched his sixth assist of the season against Puerto Rico, tied for first in the league. He has at least one point in five straight games (three goals, four assists). … With a win tonight, the Rowdies could move into sole possession of first place, coupled with a San Antonio loss tonight. San Antonio, however, has a game in hand.

Tampa Bay Rowdies on a tear thanks to rooted roster 07/27/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 27, 2012 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …