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Rowdies struggle in loss to Indy, but still in combined race

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As it turns out, the Tampa Bay Rowdies aren’t playing well in the middle of the week, either.

The Rowdies lost 2-0 to the Indy 11, one of the few teams that had been ranked below Tampa Bay in this stumbling Fall Season. The Rowdies fell to 10th of the NASL’s 11 teams in the Fall, losing despite returning to goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

The teams were scoreless going into the 60th minute when Dane Richards scored. Erick Norales added a second goal 10 minutes later.

“We’ve had a few games like this where neither goalkeeper is under intense pressure, but we come up short,” Rowdies Coach Thomas Rongen said. “It was like that in the Fort Lauderdale game where there were three goals in the game, but neither goalkeeper had to make a save for the rest of the match. At halftime, we talked about how an individual mistake could turn the game and that’s what happened to us on both goals. It was a fairly even game at halftime and we had the power to get three points, but I have to give credit to Indy as well. We’ve become our own worst enemy and that needs to change.”

The Rowdies have fallen to 10th of the NASL’s 11 teams, only two points ahead of last-place San Antonio. They are the lowest-scoring team in the league with only eight goals in eight games. Tampa Bay has won only one of its last seven games (with a draw).

However, the Rowdies still rank fourth in the combined standings in a virtual tie for third with Saturday’s opponent, Minnesota.

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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