Rowdies sign defender Willie Hunt ahead of final playoff push

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies have brought in their final reinforcements for the playoff push with the addition of versatile defender Willie Hunt on Tuesday.

Hunt, 28, played for the Rowdies in 2014, making 12 appearances, including 11 starts. Eight of those starts were as a right back. The other three starts were as a centerback, including two where he was paired with Tamika Mkandawire. He spent this season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL, making 28 appearances and helping Pittsburgh to a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Hunt will wear the No. 31 jersey.

“We’ve brought Willie here because we know first-hand how talented he is and how much he can help us in this last month,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “He’s versatile enough to play in a couple of different spots in the field. He knows how I’d like my team to play from spending last season here, so it’s a good fit all around.”

A physical player that’s strong in the air, Hunt also scored one goal for Tampa Bay last season. He scored three goals for Pittsburgh this season, including two in a 4-2 playoff loss to the New York Red Bulls’ reserve team on September 26.

The Rowdies currently sit in a three-way tie in fourth place in the North American Soccer League Combined Standings with four matches left to play. Up first, the Rowdies host league-leading Ottawa Fury FC at Al Lang Stadium this Saturday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.