Rowdies win award at Soiree, advance to Cup

— On Thursday, the organization was recognized at the Sneaker Soiree event in Tampa for the Sports Community Moment of the Year. Hosted by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, the Soiree brings together people from the Tampa Bay area who are involved with sports franchises, collegiate teams and the various media entities that cover regional sports for a celebration of on and off the field achievements.


— Tampa Bay secured a birth in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup after beating VSI Tampa Bay FC on Tuesday. Rowdies forward Georgie Hristov scored two goals in the 2-1 win at Plant City Stadium in Plant City, Fla. With the victory, the Rowdies will host Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. Besides the fact that the Rowdies will get a chance to host one of the most successful franchises in the country's premier soccer leagues, the match might just bring comedian and part-owner Drew Carey to town. Another wrinkle to the game is the matchup between Seattle defenseman Zack Scott and his younger brother Daniel, who plays midfield for the Rowdies. Daniel already has started the trash-talking (if you want to call it that) with a tweet that stated: "Let the noogies and wet willies (begin)." More to come on this match after Saturday's contest.


— Last Saturday, the Rowdies earned their third straight away victory defeating United FC 3-2 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. After Midfielder Shane Hill gave the Rowdies the lead in the closing moments of the first half, Minnesota evened the game on a goal by Michael Reed in the 54th minute. Rowdies midfielder Luke Mulholland scored his fourth goal of the season soon after, putting the Rowdies up 2-1. United FC’s Simone Bracalello’s goal 10 minutes later tied the game, but the Rowdies went ahead for good in the 90th minute thanks to Keith Savage's timely goal.


— Hristov is now tied with midfielder Luke Mulholland for most goals on the team with four, while leading the Rowdies with three assists. Four Rowdies were named to the NASL Team of the Week after last Saturday’s win. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo led the Rowdies to victory in Minnesota, making several key saves to keep the Rowdies ahead in the match. Restrepo also came up big in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup win, where his saves pushed Tampa Bay in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. Midfielders Shane Hill, Keith Savage and Luke Mulholland joined the goalkeeper on the Team of the Week, proving to be a solid core to this Rowdies team that is now on a two game unbeaten run.



— The Rowdies and the nonprofit group, Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc., are asking Tampa Bay Area residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Tampa Bay Area residents can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home. Donate your gently-used cellular phones at the customer service booth on gameday. Also, the Rowdies have teamed up with SCORE International to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornados. You can help make a difference by bringing non-perishable food, bottled water and personal hygiene items to home games in May and June.

click to enlarge SWEET CHARITY: Rowdies CEO/GM Andrew Nestor and Midfielder Luke Mulholland at the third annual Sneaker Soiree. - TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
SWEET CHARITY: Rowdies CEO/GM Andrew Nestor and Midfielder Luke Mulholland at the third annual Sneaker Soiree.

click to enlarge SWEET CHARITY: Rowdies CEO/GM Andrew Nestor and Midfielder Luke Mulholland at the third annual Sneaker Soiree. - TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
SWEET CHARITY: Rowdies CEO/GM Andrew Nestor and Midfielder Luke Mulholland at the third annual Sneaker Soiree.
  • TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
  • SWEET CHARITY: Rowdies CEO/GM Andrew Nestor and Midfielder Luke Mulholland at the third annual Sneaker Soiree.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies host Minnesota United FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for a chance to move into first place in the NASL standings. The Rowdies have been quite busy over the past couple of weeks while I've been on vacation so here is a quick run-down on the team:

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