Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Happy to be home, Rowdies ready to reset vs. Charleston

ST. PETERSBURG — After a 3-0 start at Al Lang Stadium, things were bound to be a little less smooth when the Rowdies hit the road for a pair of games last week.

Tampa Bay managed just one point from two matches, so being back on home turf to face Charleston tonight is a relief.

"Yeah, happy to be back home. Obviously great to play in front of our fans again," coach Stuart Campbell said.

Tampa Bay (3-1-1, 10 points) is tied with Louisville and St. Louis for first in the USL's Eastern Conference, but Louisville, which defeated the Rowdies last weekend, has played one fewer game. So has tonight's opponent, the Battery (3-0-1, one point back).

And Charleston owns the best goal differential in the conference (plus-7) with a forward, Romario Williams, coming off a hat trick that needed only 11 minutes.

"Definitely concerned. They've got pace, they create a lot of chances, they've got a lot of speed and strength," Campbell said. "We're gonna have to be at our utmost best to go out there and get a result — but we're confident we can go out there and do that."

Last Saturday at Louisville, Tampa Bay fell behind 2-0 and, despite a late goal, lost 2-1.

Then it was off to the artificial turf of Cincinnati, where Tampa Bay drew 1-1.

The Rowdies' goal, a 35-yarder by Marcel Schafer for his first with the club, grabbed the No. 2 spot on SportsCenter's top 10.

"It deserved to be so. But good luck following it up with a second one," Campbell said. "It was a cracking strike. I had a great view of it from the bench. The minute it left his foot I said, 'What a goal', (as) I saw it rocket."

Schafer said he has been happy about the national attention, only wishing it had been followed by a victory.

"Our most important thing is to get three points and, just one point in Cincinnati so we are not 100 percent satisfied," he said.

Matt Pickens received his first start in goal Wednesday, as Akira Fitzgerald was hurt early against Louisville. With a three-game week, Campbell did not start either of his top two scorers, though Joe Cole and Georgi Hristov came off the bench.

"We had a tough road trip against two very tough opponents," said Schafer. "It's always important to win at home, especially when you want to be one of the top teams. And that's our aim."

Tonight

Rowdies vs. Charleston, 7:30, Al Lang Stadium

Happy to be home, Rowdies ready to reset vs. Charleston 04/21/17 [Last modified: Friday, April 21, 2017 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.