New Tampa Bay Rowdies arrival Cal Jennings scored his first goal for the club in its preseason contest with Club de Foot Montreal on Saturday at Al Lang Stadium. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Cal Jennings scored his first goal for new club the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the hosts fell 2-1 to Major League Soccer’s Club de Foot Montreal on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. Jennings notched the opening goal before Montreal pulled ahead with two goals either side of halftime.
Montreal held the edge in possession through the first half hour, yet the Rowdies were the ones to take the lead in the 29th minute. Dayonn Harris did well to beat a Montreal defender to the ball on the right edge, leaping over the defender and charging forward with the ball before finding Jennings open in the box. Jennings made the most of the moment and slipped his shot into the left corner of the net.
Montreal answered Jennings’ goal with an equalizer four minutes later by Sunusi Ibrahim. The visitors then found their winner in the 66th minute as Ibrahim set up Chinonso Offor to finish.
“We never like to lose a game, especially one I thought we probably didn’t deserve to lose,” said Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins. “Keeping everything in perspective, there were a lot of positives. There were a lot of positives for the new players that played. Of course, there are things we’ll need to keep working on and I think we need to get better at, but when you consider the opposition and where they’re at in their preseason it was a good performance on our part. After what was our toughest week of training so far, this was a good night’s work.”
SAN ANTONIO FC 1, FC TULSA 1: San Antonio FC and FC Tulsa ended all square in a preseason contest played over 60 minutes at Toyota Field as Justin Dhillon opened the scoring for the defending USL Championship title holders before Marcus Epps responded for the visitors.
San Antonio took the lead in the 14th minute when Connor Maloney set up Dhillon to open the scoring. Tulsa went close to leveling 13 minutes into the second period when Milo Yosef shot just over the crossbar, but six minutes later a move begun by Brett Levis saw Moses Dyer and Rodrigo da Costa combine to set up Epps for the equalizer.
PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC 0, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON 0: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC posted its second consecutive shutout of the preseason after battling to a draw with perennial NCAA power Akron at Highmark Stadium.
The Hounds had more chances over the contest, starting with a free kick in the 19th minute by Marc Ybarra that forced a save. Akron showed some potency on the counterattack, meanwhile, and Johnny Fitzgerald nearly put home a chance in the 26th minute for the Zips.
The Hounds did find the net in the 36th minute as a trialist put away a cross by Robbie Mertz, only to have the goal ruled offside. The second half then saw the Hounds go deep into their bench, and new addition Langston Blackstock just missed on a close-range effort four minutes after entering the game.
Chances began to dry up as both teams rotated more players into the match, and the Hounds’ defense – anchored by a 90-minute shift from center back Arturo Ordóñez – kept an energetic Zips team off the board.