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Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Miami FC game advance

Today: Rowdies vs. Miami

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

Broadcasts: Live video feed on fctampabay.com; radio on 1010-AM

Records: Tampa Bay 5-7-5, 20 points, fifth in USL Conference; Miami 2-6-9, 15 points, sixth in NASL Conference

Tickets: Game day prices range from $14 to $32 and can be bought at fctampabay.com or by calling toll-free 1-888-757-6934.

Promotion: Fans can buy family four-packs, which start at $52, that include four tickets, four hot dogs and four small sodas.

Past meetings: This is the third of four regular-season meetings between the in-state rivals, who play for the Coastal Cup. The teams drew two previous league matches. On July 4, Tampa Bay couldn't hold on to the lead after Jeremy Christie scored in the 82nd minute and tied Miami 1-1 at Steinbrenner Field. On May 1, the teams tied 1-1 in Fort Lauderdale. In a non-league second-round U.S. Open Cup match June 22, Miami beat Tampa Bay 2-1 on Abe Thompson's penalty kick in the 98th minute.

Offensive struggles: The Rowdies haven't scored since Christie's goal against Miami, a span of more than three games and 278 game minutes. Overall, Tampa Bay has scored just two goals in its past eight league games.

At home: This is the third of a seasonlong four-game homestand for Tampa Bay. The Rowdies are 2-2-3 at home.

The slump: The Rowdies are 0-6-2 in their past eight league games, their last win coming May 29, 2-1 over Puerto Rico. To say the Rowdies have been streaky would be an understatement. At the time they were unbeaten in seven games and were 5-1-3 and in second place in the USL Conference with 18 points. Now, they are tied with Puerto Rico for the eighth and final playoff spot in the league.

New additions: Midfielder Jonny Steele played 90 minutes in Tampa Bay's 1-0 loss to Rochester. Steele and midfielder Ricardo Sanchez, who could be available today, were acquired last week from Vancouver.

Weird fact of the day: All three goals against Miami this season have come in the 82nd minute.

Injury report: Forward Aaron Wheeler (shin stress fracture), midfielder Erik Ustruck (broken leg), Scott Buete (hernia) are out. Defender Gordon Kljestan (knee) did not practice Saturday and is doubtful. Yendry Diaz (ankle) practiced and could return today after missing Thursday's game.

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Miami FC game advance 07/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:03pm]
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