Given the weather conditions in Central Florida, fans were lucky to see any soccer at all on Wednesday night as the Rowdies played the Saint Leo Lions to a 2-0 preseason victory. After a light drizzle for the first 15 minutes or so the weather lightened up and there was very little precipitation until just after the game was called midway through the second half.
The Lions controlled the majority of the possession in the first half, generating a number of scoring chances but failing to capitalize. For their part, FC Tampa Bay seemed to get a few shots off here or there but every time they started on a break they seemed to be called for offsides. Midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake gave the Rowdies their first chance in the 14th minute but drove his shot just over the crossbar.
The second half saw a number of substitutions for FC Tampa Bay, and the Rowdies would net the game’s first goal in the 55th minute as Pascal Millien continued his strong preseason performance with his 4th goal of the year. Just 6 minutes later Yoshitake, who had his strongest performance of the year to date, would add to the team’s tally giving the Rowdies the lead 2-0 before the game was called off due to lightning.
FC Tampa Bay will head to Tampa on Sunday to play in their final exhibition match of the season against their yellow-and-gold counterparts at USF that game begins at 7.
Notes: Palestinian international Omar Jarun, who signed with the club on Monday, made his debut for the team starting in the backfield. JP Rodrigues made his first appearance for the club after winning a championship with the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League.