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 Tampa Bay Rowdies

Preview: Rowdies vs Tulsa

May 16, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The Tampa Bay Rowdies aim to get back in the win column at home this Saturday against FC Tulsa following back-to-back league losses. The Rowdies will undoubtedly feel a bit frustrated given the context of the defeats. They fell 4-1 in Memphis after playing down a man for over 80 minutes two weeks ago. Last week, despite holding the edge in most statistical categories versus Birmingham, the Rowdies still found themselves on the losing end of a 1-0 result.

"I don't think we necessarily had bad performances in the losses we've had so far," said midfielder Eddie Munjoma. "It's just part of the game. Sometimes you play really well and lose, sometimes you don't play not as well and you end up winning... We're focused on the next thing. We know what we're capable of. If we keep playing the way we've been playing, especially with the amount of chances we created last week, I think we're gonna win more than we lose for sure."

Coming to town this weekend in Western Conference side FC Tulsa, who have picked up one win in their last five league outings.

"Most of what we've been doing in games is positive," said Rowdies Head Coach Robbie Neilson. "Yes, we have to look at the negatives, but I would say 90-95 percent of what we focus on is about positivity. We still focus on playing forward and taking the ball under pressure. We all make mistakes. It's a game of mistakes. It's about how you react to that that is the biggest indicator of what kind of team you'll be. I think the guys are remaining positive. It's just a matter of getting back to winning ways on Saturday."

Mental Health Awareness Auction

In recognition of Mental Awareness Month in May, the Rowdies will be donnie special warm up shirts for Saturday's match displaying the message "It's OK to not be OK." Fans can bid to win their favorite player's warm up shirt, with all proceeds from the auction benefiting the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Fans can bid . Bidding will close at 5 pm ET on May 31.

One Eye on Open Cup

While the Rowdies are firmly focused on picking up three points this Saturday against Tulsa, they know an important matchup awaits them in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Rowdies are set to host MLS' FC Dallas at Al Lang Stadium on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET. This is Tampa Bay's first time back in the Round of 16 since 2013. A win for the Rowdies would clinch their first trip to the Quarterfinals of the Open Cup in July.

Scouting Tulsa

The Rowdies claimed victory in both contests against Tulsa last year, outscoring Tulsa 5-1. This season, Tulsa has a new head coach in charge. Former youth academy director for Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville Mario Sanchez took the reigns for Tulsa in January. Phillip Goodrum, Tulsa's leading scorer from last year, has returned for a second season with the club after notching 12 goals in 2023. So far this season, Goodrum has bagged two goals in league play.

"Tulsa have two really class strikers in Goodrum and Stefan Stojanovic," said Neilson. "But they're coming to Al Lang, so the focus will be on us Yes, we've got a few issues that they pose that we'll need to deal with, but the majority of the focus will be on how we play and how we can dominate the game."

One week after joining the Rowdies via transfer from Tulsa, midfielder Nate Worth will square off against his former team. Worth appeared as a second half substitute in his Rowdies debut last week. The 17-year-old midfielder made 23 appearances during his time with Tulsa before joining the Rowdies.

"(Tulsa) are a team that prides themselves on competing and working hard," said Worth. "No matter what, you're going to get a good fight from them. They're going to give everything they have. They've got a great group of guys. It won't be an easy task, but the boys will be ready for it."

Availability Report

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


Tampa Bay Rowdies vs FC Tulsa

Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m. ET

Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, FL

Happy Hour Special: Gates will open a half hour earlier for Saturday's match. From 6 p.m. to kickoff at 7:30 p.m., fans can enjoy $5 Viva Tequila seltzers throughout the stadium.

2024 League Records:

Rowdies: 3W-2L-4D, 13 pts, 6th East (2-1-2 at home)

Tulsa: 2W-2L-4D, 10 pts, 7th West (2-1-2 on the road)

Tune in: Saturday's match will be broadcast locally on Tampa Bay 44 and available to stream on CBS Sports Golazo

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United Soccer League Championship Stories from May 16, 2024

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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