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Match Preview: Tampa Bay Rowdies

It’s game number 4 of the season and game number 2 at home! Also its number 1 vs 2 in the East as LCFC takes on an undefeated Rowdies team. Tampa Bay has shown it still has what it takes to compete at a high level. The two-time NASL Champions come to Slugger on Saturday to take on the Maid of Honor of the Eastern Conference, your Louisville City FC. The two-time runners up in the Eastern conference finals and regular season will look to continue its unbeaten streak at home. Let’s dive into the keys to the game.

Rowdies:

The last game the Rowdies played they won 1-0 over Ottawa who currently sits dead last in the East. This was not a convincing win, considering an inferior Ottawa attacked well and only had 30% of the possession during the game.

The first key for Tampa is to answer the age old question “Can we play well away from home?” The Rowdies are at the top with 3 wins at Al Lang Stadium, outscoring their opponents 6 to 0.

The second key to the game is can they play against a team with an attacking mindset like LCFC and get a result? Tampa have played Ottawa, Orlando B, and Toronto II in their three games. All 3 of those teams, we know, do not play attacking football like LCFC.

The third key will be to continue to use the dominating and in-form Georgi Hristov, who has scored 3 of the 6 rowdies goals. He will be a test for the backline of LCFC to handle. A Fourth key will be to continue to dominate the possession in the game.

LCFC:

The first key is to continue to grind out results. LCFC has started the season off well against 2 good teams out of 3, while the team in front have played 3 at home against 3 rather poor teams. If LCFC want to win it all this year they have to win games that seem lost in extra time or if you’re a Manchester United fan you would say “Fergie time”.

The second key is to continue to control possession in the final third of the pitch as they did against Richmond. If they do this it will be a real test for the Rowdies to see what the USL is all about.  

The Final key will be to keep George “Cuatro” Davis IV the focal point of the attack. He isn’t the forward striker but a lot has run through him and I hope it continues as his form through the 3 games has been great.  If LCFC wants to really show the USL that its LCFC’s time to raise the trophy we will need to start it at home and get convincing wins at home. The time for LCFC is now we just need to encourage it!

Prediction: Louisville City 2-1 Tampa Bay

I think Rowdies will struggle at Slugger like so many teams do, and LCFC will capitalize on it and grind out a result. It will be a test for both teams. Can the Rowdies assert their dominance on the East? Or can LCFC show the USL that we are the powerhouse in this conference? Only Saturday can tell us that. Make sure you show up ready to chant! COME ON YOU BOYS IN PURPLE!