Jacksonville Armada – Tampa Bay Rowdies
– Momentum: Both teams are struggling in these early stage of the fall season. They both sit in the cellar of the fall table, tied on four points and four goals scored. The Rowdies take the higher place in the table simply because they have conceded one fewer goal. Both teams will come into the match looking to get three points and some momentum towards a jump up the table.
– Rivalry: This match carries more weight than just a little bit of a push off of the bottom of the table, as there are also Coastal Cup implications. Having lost both of their previous matches in this mini-competition, the Armada will be looking to make up some ground on the Strikers and Rowdies, who are currently tied for the Cup lead.
In the last game:
Keep An Eye On:
– The Armada Defense: A bad defensive line won’t be looking any better today, due to several injuries and a suspension that have been dealt to key players in the Armada defense. Fabricio Ortiz came off during the previous game against Minnesota, Matt Bahner has been injured since the team visited Atlanta, Nurdin Hrustic was injured and just starting to run again last week, and to add salt to the myriad wounds, Shawn Nicklaw was given a red card last week and will miss the match tonight. These players could all form a legitimate starting back four, and they will all miss tonight, so it doesn’t look good.
– Omar Salgado: The Rowdies have recently brought the attacker in and have stated that he will be in the team tonight. Whether he will be starting on the field or on the bench remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that Rowdies supporters are excited to see their new man in action for the first time.
– The Atmosphere: Section 904 has a good-sized traveling contingent on the way to St Petersburg, and Ralph’s Mob are always in top form. The last meeting between the clubs provided an electric atmosphere, and today’s match should not disappoint either.
You won’t notice:
– Freddy Adu: So far, this acquisition by the Rowdies has been much “Adu” about nothing as the player only played fifteen minutes in his first match – although he did notch an assist in that time – and has been left out of the lineups since. Perhaps he suffered an undisclosed injury or he is just not fit enough to play at the moment. Either way, he has not had the immediate impact that some had hoped, but there is still plenty of time for him to be successful in Tampa Bay.
You Probably Won’t See:
– A low-scoring match: The Armada defense was threadbare to begin with, and even with tonight’s patchwork, there will be a ton of holes for the Rowdies to exploit. On the other side of the coin, however, is a talented Armada offense that has clicked with Akeil Barrett pulling the strings while Marcos Flores has been injured. Jacksonville should score some goals, and four or five goals between the two teams can be expected.