ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies will take a second chance at earning the victory they need to seal their place in the USL Cup Playoffs when they host the defending USL champion New York Red Bulls II in their regular season home finale at Al Lang Stadium on Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Tampa Bay Rowdies news and notes
Current record: 12-7-10, 46pts
The Rowdies recorded a second consecutive draw in their last outing this past Saturday night as they were held 1-1 by Bethlehem Steel FC at Al Lang Stadium.
Staring down a loss which would have made the task of finishing in the top four in the USL Eastern Conference significantly more difficult after Steel FC took the lead early in the second half, recent addition Sebastian Guenzatti scored the equalizer 10 minutes from time to get the Rowdies a vital point.
Tampa Bay is in fourth place in the USL Eastern Conference going into Wednesday night's contest, but would move into second with a victory as it plays its game in hand on the second-place Charleston Battery and third-place Charlotte Independence. A win would also seal a place in the USL Cup Playoffs.
The Rowdies are undefeated in their last four matches (2-0-2), but their last loss came against the Red Bulls II on September 2nd when the teams met for the first time.
New York Red Bulls II news and notes
Current record: 12-12-5, 26pts
The Red Bulls II moved back into the Eastern Conference playoff positions with a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday in their home finale at MSU Soccer Park.
An own goal in the 25th minute and a stoppage time goal by Florian Valot gave NYRBII a vital victory as it looks to return to the postseason for a third successive season.
The Red Bulls II enter the week in the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but with a win on Wednesday the side would jump ahead of sixth-place FC Cincinnati and seventh-place Orlando City B as it makes up its game in hand on both teams.
New York's victory on Saturday was its 10th home win of the season, putting it tied for the Eastern Conference lead with the Rowdies.
NYRBII has lost only once in its last eight matches, going 5-1-2 in that span to drive forward in its push for the playoffs.
Tampa Bay – GK: Nico Campbell, Matt Pickens, Akira Fitzgerald; D: Darnell King, Neill Collins, Luke Boden, Zac Portillos, Tamika Mkandawire, Hunter Gorskie, Kyle Porter; M: Marcel Schäfer, Darwin Jones, Walter Restrepo, Alex Morrell, Leo Fernandes, Justin Chavez, Sebastian Guenzatti, Keith Savage, Michael Nanchoff, Joe Cole, Martin Vingaard; F: Georgi Hristov, Martin Paterson
New York – GK: Rafael Diaz, Evan Louro, Sam Ilin; D: Gideon Baah, Jordan Scarlett, David Najem, Tim Schmoll, Andrew Lombard, Hassan Ndam, David Abidor, Jordan Bailon, Noah Powder, Ethan Kutler; M: Dan Metzger, Arun Basuljevic, Florian Valot, Dilly Duka, Andrew Tinari, Ben Mines, Kazu Shigenobu, Junior Flemmings, Zaire Bartley, Vincent Bezecourt, John Murphy; F: Zeiko Lewis, Stefano Bonomo, Douglas Martinez
REF: JONATHAN WEINER
AR1: Trent Vanhaitsma
AR2: Walter Heatherly
4TH: Miguel Martes
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