On Saturday, June 30th, Minnesota Stars FC travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium for the second time this season. In the previous meeting at Al Lang on May 25th, the Stars frustrated the Rowdies for the entire 90 minutes and escaped Florida with a 0-0 draw.
Having won back-to-back matches, including a road win against the Stars two weeks ago, Tampa Bay comes into this match on better form. Last weekend, a goal down at home versus the San Antonio Scorpions with less than three minutes of regulation time left, the Rowdies scored twice in the closing stages of the game to emerge 3-2 winners.
Behind the Rowdies recent wins is Japanese dynamo Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, who won back-to-back Offensive Player of the Week accolades for his performances. The forward, just recently back from injury, scored twice against the Scorpions, including the injury time game-winning goal, and drew the free kick that Luke Mulholland scored on. The week prior, Yoshitake opened the scoring, and assisted on the winning goal versus the Minnesota Stars.
Minnesota ended a four-match winless streak last weekend, defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 at NSC Stadium. Neil Hlavaty opened the scoring for the home side from the penalty spot, before Simone Bracalello scored the winner before half time. The win was the first for Minnesota since May 19th which was, incidentally, against the Strikers.
History favors the Rowdies in this match, having gone 2-2-0 against the Stars last term, and 1-1-0 against them this year. A win would move the Rowdies into third place in the standings, at the expense of Minnesota.
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Minnesota Stars FC
Saturday, June 30, 2012— 7:30 P.M. EDT
Al Lang Stadium
St. Petersburg, FL
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: Tampa Bay, 1-1-0, 4pts
2011 Series: Tampa Bay, 2-2-0, 8pts
Tampa Bay Minnesota
Head Coach Ricky Hill Manny Lagos
2012 Records 4th: 5-3-5, 18pts 3rd: 4-3-0, 15pts
Last Five Games T L L W W T T L L W
Goals Leader Daniel Antoniuk (4), Simone Bracalello (3),
Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (4) Amani Walker (3)
Assists Leader Keith Savage (3) Amani Walker (3)
|Match Preview: San Antonio vs. Fort Lauderdale|
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|Match Preview: Minnesota vs. Tampa Bay|
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||5||2||2||1||2||8|
|Minnesota United FC||5||2||2||1||2||8|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||5||1||1||3||-4||4|
|San Antonio Scorpions||5||0||2||3||-6||2|