Rowdies filling their roster, sign two more midfielders to roster

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies have re-signed two of their midfielders to return to the team next season.

The Rowdies signed Keith Savage and Justin Chavez to their roster.

“These players are very important for us,” Rowdies’ coach Stuart Campbell said. “They understand the culture we’ve built here and have contributed greatly both on and off the field. Keith has been here for a long time and Justin is back for his third season, so we expect great things in 2017 from both experienced players.”

Savage, one of just four members of Tampa Bay’s 100 appearance club, has been with the club since the 2011 season. Savage’s three goals in 2016 elevated him to fifth place on the Rowdies’ all-time scoring chart with 15 career goals for Tampa Bay. After missing the 2015 season due to a knee injury, Savage bounced back strong in 2016, making 16 appearances, including nine starts.

Chavez returns for his third season with the Rowdies, having made 22 appearances for the Rowdies last year. 2016 featured Chavez’s first professional goal, scored on September 3, as well as two assists as he asserted himself in his natural position as a holding midfielder.

The Rowdies start their 2017 season in March.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.