Repeat this to yourself. It doesn’t matter.
It is preseason. Practice. Glorified drill work. It doesn’t matter that the Rowdies haven’t won, or that they haven’t scored, in two games.
Relax. Calm down. Take a deep breath.
All is not lost.
Sure, it’s easy to be disappointed in the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Union, the ninth place team out of 10 in the MLS’ Eastern Division last year. Frankly, coach Stuart Campbell wasn’t thrilled with the game, either. The team was far too robotic in the first half, and it didn’t take advantage of chances in the second.
Ah, but again, it’s only preseason. Just that.
“I was very disappointed in the first half performance,” Campbell said. “We were better the second half, but I was very disappointed in the way we started the game. There was just a lack of play. We were very direct for some reason. We hit too many long balls, which resulted in easy giveaways against a good MLS team. They’ll punish you at the speed at which they move the ball, and that’s what they did.”
If you add in the first week’s 1-0 loss to D.C. United, the Rowdies have now played two games without scoring. Campbell is convinced, however, that his will be a good offense.
“Yeah, I am,” he said. “It’s still early. We had a couple of chances again tonight and we didn’t take them. It’s something we’re going to address.”
Again, in the rehearsal games, a coach is less disappointed in the final result than he is in the patches of sloppy play along the way.
“First, I hate losing, whether it’s a game or a five-on-five,” Campbell said. “But you have to step back and realize the result wasn’t the end-all and be-all. We had too many dribbles. In the second half, we were pretty good at moving the ball.”
The Rowdies try to get their first goal, and their first win, Saturday night against Montreal.