On Friday, the Rowdies players began arriving at Mainsail Suites Hotel and Conference Center eager to start the preseason training and to defend the NASL Soccer Bowl championship.
The squad knows that in less than a week they will be facing some of the top teams in the MLS, and it will be a great opportunity to demonstrate the level of play of the 2012 NASL champions. The Rowdies will begin their participation in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic against DC United, who are coming off a great MLS season.
“It is exciting for all the guys to come back after the offseason and start training again,” said defender Daniel Scott. “We have one week to prepare to play against one of MLS’ best teams and we will make sure to start training this week with intensity. It is a great stage to showcase the talents of this team, both as a group but also for each player to go out there and show their quality in front of a national audience.”
The Rowdies are the only NASL team to participate in this tournament, which will give the Rowdies a great chance to show the level of play in this league. Midfielder Stuart Campbell, who was one of the pillars of the 2012 squad, also reported to preseason where he talked about how the team has to maintain their concentration from now until the end of the season in order to achieve yet another NASL Soccer Bowl.
“We had amazing accomplishments last season, culminating in the NASL Soccer Bowl,” stated Campbell. “With that being said, we cannot sit back and relax, yet we have to go out there every game with intensity, showing why we are the 2012 NASL champions. I am eager to start training next week, especially with a game on Saturday against such a high quality team like DC United.”
Maintaining a strong core from last season, Tampa Bay will start their preseason against DC United on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. The Rowdies will then play their second group match against Montreal Impact on Wednesday, February 13, while playing their last group match against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, February 16. All games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. All of the matches in Orlando will be broadcasted live on mlssoccer.com. For ticket information for the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic, click here.