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 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Preview: Rowdies at Miami

April 10, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

Matchday Info:

Tampa Bay Rowdies (6 pts, 6th East) at Miami FC (4 pts, 8th East)

Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m. ET

FIU Soccer Stadium, Miami FL

2024 Records:

Rowdies: 1W-0L-3D (0-0-2 on the road)

Miami: 1W-3L-1D (1-2-0 at home)

Tune in: ESPN+, SiriusXM FC Channel 157

Watch Party: Join the official Rowdies Watch Party at Grand Central Brewhouse in Downtown St. Pete.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies head south for their first meeting of the year with in-state rival Miami FC this Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at FIU Soccer Stadium. Miami started the season under new head coach Antonio Nocerino on a positive note with 2-0 victory over Colorado Springs on March 16. However, since then Miami have gone winless in four straight outings, posting three losses and one draw.

Converting Draws to Wins

Tampa Bay enters Thursday's match as one of only five teams in the league that have yet to lose a match this season. With that in mind, three of their first four have ended in stalemates, a trend the squad will look to improve upon.

"Tying too much is never a good thing," said midfielder Blake Bodily. "If you get two wins, it's better than one win and two ties. So we need to find more ways to create chances, score more goals, and also not concede late in the game. If we do that, I think it'll ultimately end up with more wins and a more favorable position for us."

Bringing Intensity on the Road

There were positives and negatives to take away from last Saturday's trip to Pittsburgh for the Rowdies. They earned their first shutout of the season but were also blanked themselves for the first time in 2024. In 180 minutes played on the road so far this year, the only goal tallied by the Rowdies is an own goal committed by North Carolina FC.

"It's about applying the same intensity as we do at home on the road," said Bodily. "We need to do that. We haven't done that the last two games and we know that. Just getting back to our basics, back to our foundation, back to what we know we're good at and being aggressive in the press. I think if we do that on the road, the results will show and we'll create more chances and score more goals."

Matching Up with Miami

Historically, the Rowdies have fared well against their rivals to the south. Across all competitions, the Rowdies have claimed victory 9 times and drew four other times. Last year, the Rowdies won both regular-season contests between the two sides with a pair of 2-0 results. This year's rivalry matchup will have a new setting. Rather than the usual artificial turf field of FIU Football Stadium, the Rowdies will meet Miami on a grass field at FIU Soccer Stadium, something they hope to make the most of.

"We've had a quick look at Miami, but the focus this week has been on us this week," said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson. "We're playing at a different stadium than we have in the past down there. We're expecting a really good grass surface, which will make a really big difference from last week in Pittsburgh and hopefully help us. The way we play, the way Miami plays, I think it'll be a very entertaining game."

Competition in the Squad

They may not factor in for Thursday's match, but Rowdies midfielders Charlie Dennis and Nick Moon are both nearing their first inclusions in the gameday roster after missing all of preseason and the first few weeks of the campaign. Dennis was a key contributor in 2023, notching 11 goals and three assists in his first year with the club. Meanwhile, Moon joined Tampa Bay in the offseason as a highly touted signing after two seasons in San Diego.

"I think getting more guys back is huge," said Neilson. "You can see at the start of the season we were a bit light in the squad. Last week in Pittsburgh and in our last home game, you can see the difference being able to bring on experience and quality can make. We want competition in the squad."

Rowdies Availability Report:

OUT DUE TO INJURY: Zane Bubb, Leo Fernandes, Zach Herivaux


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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