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 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Preview: Rowdies vs Birmingham Legion FC

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


Tampa Bay Rowdies vs Birmingham Legion FC

Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. ET

Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, FL

Military Appreciation Night: The Rowdies will honor active duty members of the military as well as veterans throughout the match on Saturday.

Tickets: Fans can purchase tickets for the match .

Postgame Party: Following the final whistle, join the Rowdies official postgame party at The Avenue in Downtown St Pete.

2024 League Records:

Rowdies: 3W-1L-4D, 13 pts, 4th East (2-0-2 at home)

Birmingham: 3W-3L-2D, 11 pts, 7th East (2-2-1 on the road)

Tune in: Saturday's match will be broadcast locally on Tampa Bay 44 and available to stream on ESPN+.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies return to league action this weekend against the same team they just played 120 minutes against on Wednesday in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. For the second time this week, the Rowdies are set to square off with Birmingham Legion FC.

The Rowdies got the better of the visitors in the first meeting, but it wasn't all smooth sailing. Tampa Bay held a 4-0 until the final stages of the match but conceded four in a quick span to finish knotted after 90 minutes. Fortunately forward Manuel Arteaga notched a brace in extra time to help secure Tampa Bay's place in the next round of the Open Cup. With the defeat so close in their rearview mirror, Birmingham are sure to take the field this weekend eager to come out on top.

"We're looking to mirror what we did in the first 81 and a half minutes," said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson. If we can do that, we'll be great. We also need to work on game management in the end. There were a lot of positives from Wednesday but also some areas we need to improve."

Both sides will only have 72 hours to recover after a grueling 120 minutes of soccer at Al Lang on Wednesday before the rematch this Saturday.

"We'll have a lot of video to look back at and see some of the ways we exploited them, maybe some of the ways they did the same to us," said Rowdies forward Cal Jennings. "Having just played them in a tough match, we already know it's going to be a tough game against a team with quality players. There will probably be tired legs on both sides, so it'll probably be about who is mentally tougher."

Shoring Up the Defense

The Rowdies have conceded four goals in their last two outings. Prior to these last two matches, the Rowdies had only allowed four goals in a single match three times in the last seven seasons. Granted one of this week's four-goal matches happened while the Rowdies were down to ten men due to defender Forrest Lasso being sent off with a red card 11 minutes into the match, but this is still not a trend the club will want to continue throughout the rest of the season.

Home Stretch

Saturday will continue a lengthy stretch of matches for the Rowdies at home. Following Birmingham this weekend, the Rowdies will host FC Tulsa on May 18, MLS' FC Dallas in the Open Cup Round of 16 on May 22, and then Las Vegas Lights FC on May 25. This run of matches at Al Lang offers the club a good chance to maintain their positive start to the campaign and accrue some valuable points as the summer months approach.

Scouting Birmingham

Birmingham Head Coach Tom Soehn has managed to lead his squad to a playoff spot every year since the team joined the league in 2019. After playing their first eight matches of the regular season, Birmingham sits just on the line for playoff qualification as seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Birmingham have won two out of their last five league matches and are averaging one goal scored per match. Last Saturday, Birmingham produced a last minute goal from Stefano Pinho to salvage a point with a 2-2 result at home.

Availability Report

OUT: Zane Bubb (knee), Leo Fernandes (calf), Zach Herivaux (knee)

SUSPENDED: Forrest Lasso (Red Card)

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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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