Rowdies at Austin
When/where: 8:30 p.m.; House Park, Austin, Texas
Online: fctampabay.com; austinaztex.com
The opponent: The Aztex (11-2-5) are the U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2 leaders with 38 points, two points ahead of Rochester. Tonight's game is the last of a three-game homestand during which the Aztex are 2-0, having defeated St. Louis (2-0) and Miami (3-1). Austin hasn't lost since a 1-0 defeat to MLS side Chivas USA in the U.S. Open Cup on June 29, and the Aztex haven't been beaten in league play since a 2-1 loss to Vancouver on June 12.
Previous meetings: The Rowdies have had some success against the league's best, tying Austin twice in two meetings. In front of a sellout crowd of 8,082 at Steinbrenner Field on May 8, the Rowdies, down a man, equalized in the 85th minute in the their home debut. Eleven days later, Gordon Kljestan's late goal in the 88th minute secured a 3-3 draw.
Team stats: Austin is the most prolific scoring team in the league with 33 goals. The Rowdies, Puerto Rico, Rochester and Vancouver are tied for second at 23. The Rowdies rank sixth in goals allowed (20); the Aztex are fifth (18).
Upcoming schedule: The Rowdies' home match at Steinbrenner Field against Vancouver has been moved from Saturday, Aug. 21 to Thursday, Aug. 19 due to schedule conflicts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' preseason. That match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. The start time for the home game with St. Louis on Aug. 29 has been pushed back from 4 to 6 p.m.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer