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Rowdies conclude preseason with comfortable 3-0 victory over UT

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies concluded their preseason Tuesday night with a dominated performance against the University of Tampa.

The Rowdies won 3-0, giving them a 3-2-3 record in games against the MLS, English teams and college teams. They open their NASL season on April 2 against the Indy 11.

The Rowdies dominated throughout, with forward Freddy Adu scoring off a free kick in the 20th minute and midfielder Michael Nanchoff finding the back of the net less than two minutes into the second half. Forward Tommy Heinemann added the final mark in the 81st minute.

“I think overall as a team we performed pretty well from the goalkeeper all the way through to the attackers,” Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell said. “We were pleased.”

“It would have been nice to get a few more tonight, but it’s coming together,” Heinemann said. “You can see in the passing and in the movement that guys are starting to have a good understanding of each other.”

Defensively, the Rowdies played well in front of goalkeeper Michael Langer. Tampa Bay held the Spartans without a shot on goal for the first 32 minutes. When Langer was tested, the goalkeeper was up to the challenge making a few key stops to keep the Spartans off the board.

“The guys in front were really good, not much for me to do,” Langer said. “They did a good job, it’s a good feeling.”

Tampa Bay can now look forward to having matches matter in the standings with the regular season less than two weeks away.

“We can’t wait,” Campbell said. “We’re all ready, we’ve had a great preseason. The guys’ attitude and application has been great day in and day out.”

Heinemann echoed his head coach.

“You train this hard every single day for weeks and in these preseason games and now you want to play for something,” Heinemann said.

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.

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