Match Preview: Rowdies vs. Saint Leo University
2013 Preseason Tour
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Saint Leo University
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Location: West Pasco Youth Soccer Association’s Mitchell Fields located at 4025 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL 34655.
Admission: Free of charge. Parking will also be free of charge.
The Rowdies will have 18 signed players available for Saturday’s match, as well as five trialists.
Scouting the Saint Leo
The Lions are coming off a 7-1-8 (W-T-L) record in the 2012 season. Head Coach Keith Fulk has been at the helm of Saint Leo since June of 2011 and is currently entering his third season.
Saint Leo’s main offensive threat is forward Josh Davis, who led the team with nine points, including four goals last year. Goalkeeper Manuel Schoenhuber picked up seven wins last season, including six clean sheets in 15 matches played.
The NASL Champions earned their third win of the 2013 Preseason Tour on Tuesday night, after defeating the University of Tampa 3-1 at Pepin Stadium. The Rowdies opened the scoring in the 11th minute after midfielder Keith Savage's 20-yard strike. The NASL Champions saw their early lead disappear minutes later as UT forward Craig Laird leveled the match in the 14th minute. Two goals before the end of the first half led the Rowdies to a 3-1 win, with midfielder Shane Hill and forward Georgi Hristov scoring in the 40th and 43rd minute respectively.
The Rowdies will enjoy the return of Captain Frankie Sanfilippo, who returns to the lineup after missing several matches due to the birth of his son in California. Forward Mike Ambersley will be suiting up for Saturday’s match as well, as he continues to prepare for the 2013 season after sustaining a right MCL sprain earlier this year. Defender Draymond Washington will be unavailable for tomorrow’s match as he continues to recover from surgery on his left knee.
Tampa Bay signed Venezuelan-born goalkeeper Diego Restrepo this past Wednesday. Restrepo joins the Rowdies after recently training with D.C. United earlier this year and spending the 2012 season with one of Venezuela’s most popular clubs, Deportivo Tachira. Previously he spent the 2012 season with Colombian powerhouse America de Cali, while previously playing collegiately for the University of South Florida for two years, before transferring to the University of Virginia in 2009. In his first season at Virginia, Restrepo led the Cavaliers to an NCAA Division I National Championship, being named the 2009 NCAA College Cup's Defensive Most Valuable Player.
The Rowdies have released trialist goalkeepers Sanel Boric and Will Dieterich from preseason, as the club now has five trialists on the roster.
Current trialists are:
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
“These matches serve as a great chance for the squad to get some playing time. In recent matches we have shown that the team is coming together firmly but we know we still have certain aspects of our playing style to fix. We hope to duplicate Tuesday’s first half performance where we dominated for most of the half.”
The Rowdies and Orlando City will battle it out in the second leg of the I-4 Derby Presented by United World Soccer on Saturday, March 30 at Al Lang Stadium. Fans can purchase their tickets for the second leg of the I-4 Derby at Al Lang by clicking here or by calling the front office at 813-287-1539.
The reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions will start the 2013 NASL Spring Season by hosting the Carolina RailHawks in its 2013 home opener on Saturday, April 6 at Al Lang Stadium. For information on 2013 season tickets contact the front office at 813-287-1539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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