The Tampa Bay Rowdies host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday night, in one of the most historic rivalries in American soccer.
The hosts head into this clash riding a three-game-winning streak. At the heart of the victories is attacking linchpin Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, who scored four goals and set up another in just three appearances after returning from injury. The latest triumph was a 2-0 victory against Minnesota Stars FC at Al Lang, the clean sheet kept by Jeff Attinella, earning him Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Fort Lauderdale boast their own attacking dynamo and player of the week in Mark Anderson. The league’s Offensive Player of the Week scored both goals in the Strikers 2-1 victory against the visiting Carolina RailHawks, taking his goal tally to seven in just his first year as a professional.
The last Florida Derby, June 2 in Fort Lauderdale, the Strikers emerged 3-1 victors in front of a grateful home crowd. The win was the first time the Strikers defeated Tampa Bay since the renewal of the rivalry, ending a nine-game unbeaten record that the Rowdies held since the 2010 season.
History doesn’t favor the Strikers on their travels against Tampa Bay as the South Florida side have yet to escape Rowdies territory with three points since the rivalry was renewed. The Rowdies will want to keep that home record intact, and maintain an edge over the Strikers in the standings.
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Wednesday, July 4, 2012— 6:30 P.M. EDT
Al Lang Stadium
St. Petersburg, FL
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: Tied, 1-0-1, 3pts
2011 Series: Tampa Bay, 3-1-0, 10pts
Tampa Bay Fort Lauderdale
Head Coach Ricky Hill Daryl Shore
2012 Records 3rd: 6-3-5, 21pts 5th: 5-4-5, 19pts
Last Five Games L L W W W W L W L W
Goals Leader Tsuyoshi Yoshitake (5) Mark Anderson (7)
Assists Leader Keith Savage (4) Walter Restrepo (5)
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