Where: Patriots Point Stadium, Charleston SC
When: Tuesday, September 7th @ 7pm
8-7-4, 28 points
D 0-0 vs. Orange County SC
Last 5 Results
Tampa Bay 1-0 Charleston
July 2, 2021
Al Lang Stadium
14-6-1, 43 points
W 3-0 vs. Oakland
Out: Luiz Fernandois
Questionable: Dayonn Harris
Notes and Quotes:
The Tampa Bay Rowdies (14-6-1, 43 pts.) make their first trip to Patriots Point Stadium this Tuesday to face off with the Charleston Battery (8-7-4, 28 pts.). Tampa Bay enters the match on six-match unbeaten streak, with three straight wins in their last three outings after a convincing 3-0 win over Oakland Roots SC on Friday. Meanwhile, Charleston comes in well rested having had their last match last week postponed due to weather.
“We’re in a much better place than we were six games ago. I think it’s been great for all the players to have that confidence of not only winning some back-to-back matches, but also getting a good point in Pittsburgh. It gave them some confidence to pick up a result when we weren’t at our free-flowing best. But equally, going into Charleston, you know whether you’re in form or not, it’s a tough game. They end up having had the rest prior. I’m sure they’ll be ready and raring to go having had a game canceled. All these challenges that we need to consider, but it’s an exciting test again.”Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins.
The Rowdies head into Tuesday’s match the healthiest they have been in quite some time. Only Luiz Fernando is listed as out, while Dayonn Harris is questionable. Recent returnees Steevan Dos Santos, Juan Tejada and Lucky Mkosana have worked themselves back into match fitness, with SDS netting a brace against Charlotte and Lucky Mkosana scoring the third against Oakland last Friday. Tejada has seen most of his minutes off the bench and has been a spark late in games against tired defenses.
“We’ll have some tough decisions to make for Tuesday night but the right sort of tough decision, a lot easier than going with the same guys and thinking what kind of shape to go with. It’s deciding between some like Lucky who has had two really good performances and deciding between someone like Steevan Dos Santos, Seba Guenzatti, guys that have scored goals. These are the kind of decisions I prayed for at the start of the season. Now I’ve got them so I can’t complain.”Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins
Playing a key role in the club’s recent incandescent form has been the defensive performance. Friday night was the club’s 5th straight clean sheet and 10th of the season overall. 5 consecutive shutouts matches the club’s record set by the 2019 side. Tampa Bay has excelled in limiting chances and shots by their opponents during this run, with Oakland only getting one shot on goal. GK Evan Louro‘s goals against average improved to .71 as a result, the best GAA in the league for any GK who has played at least 50% of their club’s minutes. Since conceding in early August to New York Red Bulls 2, the Rowdies have played 531 minutes without allowing a goal.
Charleston sits fourth in the Atlantic Division standings currently, occupying the final postseason spot with still two months left in the regular season. However, they only sit in that position based on goal differential. The Charlotte Independence are even at 28 points.
“I think Charleston are right in the playoff mix. I think with Charleston you can see they’ve suffered like we all have from not having their strongest team, whether they’re missing guys from injury or international duty. But you can see when they’ve got everyone available they’re a real team to be reckoned with. They’re gonna push right to the very end to make sure they’re in the playoffs. I think (Mike Anhaeuser‘s) record speaks for itself. He normally gets that job done, so we know from good experience last year just how difficult they can be and how talented some of their players are. Hopefully we can do what we’ve done the last couple of games and come out on top. Certainly nothing will be taken for granted against a team that’s perennially found themselves in the playoffs. They’re putting themselves right in the playoffs again.”Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins