Another first-time matchup between the Swope Park Rangers (1-5-4, 7 points) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (6-0-5, 23 points) will take place Saturday night when the teams meet at Al Lang Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN+ and additional in-game updates available on the USL Championship MatchCenter. Fans can also follow @SwopeRangers on Twitter for coverage throughout the match.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers will be playing their third match of the week Saturday. They come in with a little bit of momentum as they have two draws in their last two matches. On Wednesday, they clashed with Memphis 901 FC in a highly competitive 2-2 draw. Memphis took the lead early as Dan Metzger scored off a corner in the third minute, but Camden Riley equalized with a goal from the penalty spot in the 34th minute. Things got even more intense when Mark Segbers scored the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute. Memphis responded fast with another goal off a corner five minutes later, this time from the head of Tristan Hodge.
Leading the way in scoring this year for the Rangers is midfielder Felipe Hernandez. He has totaled four goals so far this season. Jerome Ngom Mbekeli is second on the Rangers in goals with two. Leading the way in assists for the Rangers is defender Alexsander. He has provided three assists so far.
The Rowdies come into this match without a loss on the season. Their last time out they handled New York Red Bulls II at home 2-0 behind a brace from forward Juan Tejada. Neill Collins, the Rowdies head coach, has turned Al Lang Stadium into a fortress this year as Tampa Bay is 3-0-3 at home. The Rangers have their work cut out for them, entering the match 0-3-1 on the road.
Tampa Bay currently sits atop the USL Championship Eastern Conference holding a two-point cushion over Nashville FC. They boast the league's best goal differential (+13) and are the only team in the entire USL Championship without a loss. Forward Sebastian Guenzatti leads the Rowdies in scoring with five. Following close behind with four is forward Tejada. Midfielder Leo Fernandes leads their team in assists with four.
The Rangers have continued to field a lineup of youthful, exciting talent. Camden Riley (one goal) has taken on many different roles for the Rangers after being drafted by Sporting Kansas City in the second round of this year’s MLS SuperDraft. Mark Segbers (one goal, one assist) has been a consistent starter for the Rangers all season and given them great performances out of the back.
USL Championship: Game 11 of 34
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Al Lang Stadium (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Live Stream: ESPN+
Swope Park Rangers: 1-5-4 (7 points, 17th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Tampa Bay Rowdies: 6-0-5 (23 points, 1st place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: None