2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Montreal Impact
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m.
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (800 Victory Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747)
Admission: Tickets start at $14 using the “Rowdies” promotional code! Click here for more ticket information.
Matches will be streamed live on http://www.mlssoccer.com/live.
The Rowdies will have 13 signed players available for Saturday’s match, as well as 10 trialists.
2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic
The tournament consists of three group play games with unlimited substitutions. In group play, there will be no overtime, and matches may end in a draw. Standings in the group stage will be determined by awarding 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss.
The NASL Champions will play a fourth match on Saturday, January 23 against the team that finishes in the same place in Group A. In all four ‘Championship Day’ matches, there will be no overtime, but any match tied at the end of regulation will move immediately to penalty kicks.
Disney Pro Soccer Classic Standings
|D. C. United||1||1||0||0||3||4||0||4|
The Impact are no strangers to the Rowdies, as they previously competed in the NASL in 2011 and USL Second Division in 2010. The Canadian side played its inaugural season in the MLS last year, finishing in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a regular season record of 12-6-16 (W-T-L).
The Rowdies and the Impact have met in six occasions with each team winning two games, while drawing the remaining two matches. Tampa Bay is undefeated in their last four matches against the MLS side, with Montreal’s last win coming in September of 2010.
For the 2013 season, the Impact hired Marco Schällibaum as head coach. The Swiss native was brought on board in early January and recently made his coaching debut in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic. Last Saturday, Montreal defeated Sporting KC 2-1, coming from behind after Sporting’s Graham Zusi opened the scoring in the 18th minute.
The Impact were able to tie things up just before the half as midfielder Patrice Bernier assisted forward Marco Di Vaio in the equalizer. The go-ahead goal for Montreal came in the 61st minute, thanks to a great finish by substitute forward Andrew Wenger.
Last year, Montreal played a 4-4-2 formation with Canadian international Bernier leading the team with nine goals. The attacking midfielder finished the season with eight assists, second on the team to Brazilian midfielder Felipe who tallied 10 assists. The Impact boasts a squad full of experience, highlighted by Italian defender Alessandro Nesta. The defender joined the team last year after playing nearly 19 seasons in Italy’s Serie A for Lazio and A.C. Milan. The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner is joined by his countrymen forward Di Vaio, who finished last season with five goals and three assists.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies enter Wednesday’s match having lost 4-0 in its Disney Pro Soccer Classic Debut against D.C. United. Last Saturday, Tampa Bay held D.C. United scoreless through 55 minutes, until the Black-and-Red forward Lionard Pajoy scored two quick goals in the 55th and 58th minute. D.C. United defender Taylor Kemp would go on to score the other two goals of the night in the 65th and 73rd minute, sentencing the final 4-0 score.
The Rowdies starting eleven featured three trialists, while Andrew Fontein made his debut as goalkeeper replacing Jeff Attinella, who is now with Real Salt Lake. Trialists Devin Del Do and Jemal Johnson began the match as the attacking pair, while Anton Blackwood slotted into the right back position. Another player who made his Rowdies debut was defender Jay Needham, having joined the Rowdies in January after spending two seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Tampa Bay has added forward George Tor as a trialist for the 2013 preseason. The Nigerian native played at a collegiate level for Medaille College in Buffalo, NY.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
“The players are eager to get a good result on Wednesday, coming off the loss against D.C. United. We all know this is preseason and that we have recently started practicing, but we want to represent the organization and the league in the best way possible. Montreal is an experienced side with many skilled players, meaning Wednesday will be a hard-fought battle on the pitch. We are hoping these games help our squad regain their fitness and momentum, as well as add to their experience as professional players.”
Tampa Bay will play their last group match in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. For more information on tickets, click here.
The reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions will start the 2013 NASL Spring Season by hosting the Carolina RailHawks in its 2013 home opener on Saturday, April 6 at Al Lang Stadium. For information on 2013 season tickets contact the front office at 813-287-1539 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date.
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