Just over a year ago, midfielder Raphael Cox joined the Rowdies in a move that he describes to be very positive for his soccer career. Even though he enjoyed his time with the Silverback prior to arriving in Tampa Bay, Cox explained how Head Coach Ricky Hill and the technical staff have developed him as a player.
“When I got here, I wasn’t the player I am today,” said Cox. “Ricky and his staff have helped me develop as a player and I am so grateful for that. My move to Tampa Bay has made me a stronger player mentally and physically.”
Although the Tacoma native had switched clubs in previous opportunities, his move to the Rowdies caught him by surprise. While last year he didn’t get as many playing minutes as he hoped for, his transition to his new club positively affected his career.
“It was a sudden change for me and at the time I wasn’t prepared. With that being said, the coaching staff here made sure I was comfortable from day one and I have matured both on and off the field in this past year.”
With the Rowdies traveling to face his former club this weekend, Cox looks to impact the match in a positive way.
“I hope to play an important role this weekend, whether that is as a starter or as a substitute. Ricky constantly reiterates that individually we need find ways to impact the match and show that we deserve a spot in the starting lineup. This makes you hungrier as a player and it pushes you to always be better.”
Known for his versatility in the midfield, the 27-year-old began the 2013 Spring Season on the right foot being named the NASL Player of the Week in the second match of the year. His movements on the left flank not only were an offensive threat, but it also aided the Rowdies defense.
“I know I have to constantly find ways to be dangerous offensively while also being able to give a hand in the defensive third. At the end of the day, all of us want to help this team win the championship again and that has been our goal since day one.”
When the Rowdies and Silverbacks kick off tomorrow, the 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl Champions will look to pick up their second win in Atlanta this year. The match at Atlanta Silverbacks Park will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Next weekend, Tampa Bay will host the Carolina RailHawks at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, September 7 with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call (813) 287-1539 or click here.
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