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 players get weekend off before final playoff push

Still sore: Midfielder Jeremy Christie, left, remains out with a groin injury and likely won’t return until a Sept. 16 home game.


Still sore: Midfielder Jeremy Christie, left, remains out with a groin injury and likely won’t return until a Sept. 16 home game.

TAMPA — The Rowdies returned to practice Monday after taking the weekend off to get physically and mentally prepared for the final five games of the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 regular season, a stretch that will make or break their playoff hopes.

Coach Paul Dalglish, whose team has been off since a 2-2 tie with St. Louis on Aug. 29, said practice Monday and Tuesday was as sharp as it has been all season.

"It's nice to give them a little break, a couple days off, to kind of regroup and spend time with their families; maybe go to a waterslide park or go to Busch Gardens," he said. "Enjoy themselves and take a little break from the pressures of training every day and being a professional athlete every day."

The Rowdies did not practice Wednesday to give themselves time to recover from the two intense sessions. They will work on tactical maneuvers today before leaving Friday for Saturday's game at Rochester. The Rhinos, whose 48 points are second in the league, won the teams' other meeting this season, 1-0 on July 22 in Tampa.

"We've come back looking fresh, so I'm very, very pleased with the time that we've had off," Dalglish said. "It gave us time to regroup and really refocus and start again."

DEFENDER Added: The Rowdies bolstered their defense, acquiring Justin Morrow via loan from San Jose of Major League Soccer.

Morrow, who helped lead Notre Dame to NCAA tournament appearances from 2006-09 as a midfielder and defender, was picked in the second round (28th overall) of January's draft by the Earthquakes.

"He's a decent player," Dal­glish said Tuesday. "He's very, very quick."

Morrow made his pro debut April 14 in a U.S. Open Cup match against Salt Lake and his MLS debut May 1 against Colorado.

He had trouble cracking the Earthquakes lineup, however, and appeared in just two league matches.

Morrow, who will play left back for the Rowdies, can be recalled by San Jose at any time.

PLAYOFF PUSH: With five matches remaining, the Rowdies are holding onto the eighth and final playoff position. Tampa Bay and Minnesota are tied for eighth with 28 points, but the Rowdies have a game in hand. (St. Louis is two points behind them.)

Additionally, Tampa Bay's goal differential, the first tiebreaker, is zero compared with Minnesota's minus-11. The Rowdies host Minnesota on Sept. 24 in what could be a play-in game.

The playoffs begin Oct. 6.

Christie update: Midfielder Jeremy Christie hasn't played since coming in as a second-half substitute July 22 because of a groin injury. But Dalglish indicated Christie could be available for the home match with Austin on Sept. 16. A return for Saturday is unlikely.

"He's very, very borderline available for selection," Dalglish said. "I don't know if Saturday's game is maybe a little bit early. "If there's no setbacks, we should definitely see him, if not for Saturday's game, then the game after that."

Bryan Burns can be reached at or (727) 892-2216.

Up next

Rowdies at Rochester

When/where: 7 p.m. Saturday; Marina Auto Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.


Next home game: vs. Austin, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

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

Tampa Bay Rowdies players get weekend off before final playoff push 09/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tim Beckham jumps into right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s arms after his three-run home run in the second inning.
  2. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay


    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  3. ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.
  4. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.