On a smoldering hot day at the Brandon Area Youth Soccer League Complex, FC Tampa Bay charged forward in their preseason preparation against Florida Gulf Coast University, winning 2-0 despite the game being played by and large by reserve players and trialists. Newcomer Tsuyoshi Yoshitake looked to open the scoring early in the game and went close three times, each time being denied by fingertip saves.
The game was opened up in the second half as starters Mike Ambersley and Aaron King were substituted in as forwards. Their fluid play and give-and-go style created a number of chances before FGCU's defense was caught out of position with a cross from St. Petersburg native Chad Burt found the head of Frankie Sanfilippo for the opening goal.
Player/Assistant Coach David Hayes, filling in at leftback for the injured Javed Mohammed and JP Rodrigues, who is still finishing a playoff run for the Milwaukee Wave before arriving with the team, was shown a second yellow card for a misplaced foot in the 86th minute.
Chad Burt's crosses, however, were the story of the day as in the 88th minute, a floating ball landed at the mercy of Aaron King to score his first goal of the pre-season.
FC Tampa Bay looks to go into the home stretch of their pre-season run this Sunday against the University of Central Florida in Orlando before wrapping up with games against St. Leo on March 30th and USF on April 3rd.