photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the most historic derbies in U.S. soccer history was renewed this weekend, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers faced off for the first time in 19 years.
Playing in their first match since 1993, the Rowdies defeated their Florida rivals, 3-1, in front of 3,536 fans at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday night. The result ended Ft. Lauderdale's undefeated start to the season, and lifted Tampa Bay to second place in the standings.
Matt Clare gave the Rowdies the lead in the opening 45 minutes before Mike Ambersley converted a penalty kick in the second half. Playing without top scorer Andy Herron due to injury, the Strikers trimmed the deficit in half in the 90th minute of their third game in eight days through a finish from Walter Restrepo. The Rowdies responded shortly after, however, as Keith Savage found the back of the net.
Here is a look back at the rest of the Week 4 action in NASL:
SILVERBACKS, STARS SPLIT POINTS IN SIX-GOAL AFFAIR
Talk about a tale of two halves. After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, the Atlanta Silverbacks and Minnesota Stars FC combined for six goals in the second half to play to a 3-3 draw at Atlanta Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, GA on Saturday night. Goals from Devin Del Do in the 88th minute and Justin Davis deep into stoppage time saw Minnesota rally from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point as 4,176 spectators took in the proceedings.
The second half began well for Atlanta, as Reinaldo Navia scored twice in the first 19 minutes before Amani Walker pulled one back for the Stars in the 66th minute. David Santamaria then scored his first goal of the year for the Silverbacks in the 79th minute before they surrendered the two late goals.
LATE GOAL GIVES SCORPIONS WIN OVER RAILHAWKS
The San Antonio Scorpions picked up the first win in their short history on Saturday courtesy of a late goal from Kevin Harmse. The Scorpions captain scored in the 82nd minute to lift San Antonio to a 1-0 victory over the Carolina RailHawks. Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler made his first start of the year as 3,041 fans watched on at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary N.C., and he made four saves to preserve the result for the visitors.
1. Puerto Rico Islanders (3-1-1, 10 points, +6 GD)
2. Tampa Bay Rowdies (2-1-2, 8 points, +2 GD)
3. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (2-1-2, 8 points, 0 GD)
4. Minnesota Stars FC (1-0-3, 6 points, +1 GD)
5. San Antonio Scorpions (1-1-2, 5 points, -3 GD)
6. Atlanta Silverbacks (0-0-4, 4 points, 0 GD)
7. Carolina RailHawks (0-2-3, 3 points, -3 GD)
8. FC Edmonton (0-3-1, 1 point, -3 GD)
What do you think of FC Edmonton's woeful start to the season? Happy to see the Islanders remain in first place? Surprised that neither Florida team was able to seal the deal despite having late leads?
Share your thoughts below.
1st Female in NASL??
tampa bay didn’t own the rowdies name last year. so they are right.
First time in 19 years? Hum, could have sworn they played a sh!t load of times last year.. Ives, you need to crack the whip homie!
To answer Franco’s questions: Yeah–I’m a little shocked that the Eddies are struggling.
I’m always HAPPY when my beloved Puerto Rico Islanders are at the top of any table.
I don’t have a dog in the fight–I dislike both teams.
You Tampa types have had the Strikers number. Too little, too late from Ft. Lauderdale…
Had they played like they did on Wednesday night they would have taken it to the Rowdies.
I would like to read one minor league article without everyone commenting how they would fix the system.
Ivan, agreeance. I’m not as down on Shane as others…but i accept your opinion.
Fafa Picault is supposedly the replacement for Pascal. I’m told he plays a similar style.
Absolutely agree with #2.
I would like to see the major East Coast teams from the NASL and USL get together and form a league. Rochester, Harrisburg, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Wilmington, three Florida teams, Atlanta, PR and anyone else with reasonable attendance. Keep it local, loud and competitive
Based on what I’ve seenf rom the Rowdies’ 3 home games this season:
1. Boy, do we miss Pascal Millien (playing in Ireland’ first division). We don’t have any width; there’s noone capable of taking on defenders on this side (Mulholland as the only exception).
2. Coach Hill: please do not play your son. EVER. He is awful.
3. Defense is solid, a lot of returning players from last season.
4. Antoniuk should get a couple of starts. We could use a big target man up front. He has made a difference coming off the bench every time this season.
5. v. the Strikers was the teams’ best game so far.
Rowdies slapped Stinkers around pretty good. Stinkers played crappy soccer…that young eyes should not have witnessed.
Strikers had nothing. Maybe that changes when Herron returns.
Wait a tick, how can I watch Youtube through the Roku? Didn’t know there was a channel.
BamaMan good thought. Too bad the leagues can’t unite. If would be good for soccer
I know NASL shows their games on UStream. Have they considered switching over to live broadcasts on YouTube – as the Copa America did – or is that unworkable for some reason?
I only ask because Youtube is watchable on most televisions with a roku while Ustream is not.
If pro/rel has any chance in the US, it’s through the 2nd and 3rd divisions. The system is so quintessential to soccer; it’s shocking that team owners haven’t demanded it.
Pittsburgh doesnt have fans. Dont bring any teams in nasl or mls that has no fanbase. Orlando & Rochester make sense, perhaps Wilmington
The NASL Cup is a nice trophy and a significant accomplishment.
In my utterly worthless opionion (as nothing more than a supporter), the case of the Puerto Rico Islanders, the economics don’t make MLS a possibility. It’s just not a reality.
In addition to playing for a NASL Cup, there is the trophy for finishing first place in the NASL regular season and the Islanders also compete for the CFU club championship and a CONCACAF Champions League berth.
Some may consider those “lame” but, personally, they hold my interest
Can’t the USSF step in a threaten to pull its endorsement and official-dom if they don;t step in line. USL and NASL higher-ups obviously cant work together for the betterment of USSoccer, so there needs to be change.
And Pro/Rel within the 2nd and 3rd division could be done and would be a good way to grow fan bases and give the MLS an idea of who could succeed as a franchise.
I always thought they could combine the two leagues again for one season, top half of table is 2nd divison, bottom half is 3rd.
Playah, you’re more than welcome for the response.
I’m not used to being. considered “insightful”. Thanks! The “passive-agressive” thing made me chuckle.
I honestly am thrilled that you even care enough to have posted something.
Maybe you were vibing my frustration with the USL civil war and the way that things are as somehow being focused on you. Which wasn’t the case, at all Bro.
the Islanders could be a black horse in MLS. They’re known to have beaten teams like LA Galaxy, Monterrey, Saprissa to name a few in CCL play.The way MLS is set up right now, it will reward Toronto’s mediocre season with a #1 pick..while the Islanders have nothing important to play for other than a lame NASL cup.
A three-tier pro/rel system is still a pipe dream, but two-tier makes a lot of sense. I agree though. It would be rad to see 0-7 TFC drop down and the Railhawks or whoever promoted.
I’m not at all familiar with the inner workings or histories of either league, so thanks for insightful-yet-oddly-passive-aggressive response.
How much time do you have? Should I start with the fact owners on both sides still have a lot of bad blood after the USL civil war (thus the existence of the NASL and rebranded USLPRO)?
What about the fact that some owners prefer a bus league and paying lower salaries in order to try and keep expenses down, while others don’t want to particiapte in what has been referred to as a “bus league”?
Or the fact that the USSF has different standards for the divisions?
What little money to be had for MLS clubs from television is enough that no club would agree to a standard football system. It would be a financial disaster for MLS as a whole as well unless someone wanted to bankroll the entire thing and make up for losses. Ticket sales would likely drop too. I wish, though.
people should watch the justin davis goal, seriously. 35 yard bomb in stoppage time. the only other goal i can remember him scoring was an own goal in the NASL final last year.
I already know the answer and that answer is “Never” but promotion/relegation would make this so much more fun. Imagine Puerto Rico Islander and Tampa Bay duking it out for promotion and Toronto, New England, Chivas USA and Portland fighting relegation..I honestly would not mind seeing Chivas USA and Toronto in the NASL were they belong.
This is rhetorical, but why don’t USL Pro and NASL merge to form a two-tier pro/rel system? It seems like a match made in heaven. You’ve got Orlando City bringing in twice as many attendees as Tampa Bay, and the former is of an arbitrarily lower division than the latter.
The NASL appears stronger than ever. With the addition of: Orlando, Charleston, Wilmington, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Rochester and Richmond; the league could be very strong indeed.