Head coach: Neil Collins
venue: Al Lang Stadium
FiveThirtyEight.com playoff odds: 94%
FiveThirtyEight.com Title Odds: Ten%
Theme song for 2023: Go for Gold – Shed Seven
What happened this offseason?
It’s been an offseason of change in Tampa Bay, and only five players who started in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals against Louisville City FC could be in the starting lineup for the season opener against the Indy Eleven on March 11. I have. But there are also familiar faces, including three-time defender of the year Forrest Lasso and midfielder Jordan Doherty returning to the club for a second stint. Most interesting, though, is Cal’s new strike group featuring Jennings and JJ Williams. 2022 Championship Most Valuable Player Leo Fernandez has to step up to the mark after the season-ending injury he sustained this preseason. After Sebastian Genzatti, the all-time leading goalscorer, left for Indy.
Main returnees – Lewis Hilton, Midfielder: Since joining the USL Championship in 2016, no player has made more regular season and playoff appearances than Lewis Hilton. A midfield general in his fourth season with the Rowdies, he made three straight appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, opening as a distributor in his play and also being the world’s best dead man. Ball was an important player for the side as he was one of his takers. alliance.
key arrival – Conor Sparrow, goaltender: After being rotated out last season due to form and injury, the Rowdies took Sparrow out of Florida rivals Miami FC to take a nap and take on the role as the new No. 1 of the season. I did it. Sparrow has a wealth of experience with 30 shutouts in the regular season and playoffs as he appeared in 94 games, and at 28 years old, he could hit his prime in Rowdies colors.
key number – 3: Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Forrest Lasso is the only player in Championship history to win the league’s Defender of the Year multiple times in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
John Morrissey’s tactical corner: The Rowdies are known for being a very strong three-back, and that will continue even with Forrest Lasso returning to centre-back. Neil Collins’ offense is an area to watch. Tampa Bay was a show for Leo Fernandez and Jake LaCaba and lacked ball variety. With J.J. Williams’ hold-up his play, Cal his Jennings cunning in transition, and miles of attacking midfield, this team could go a million ways even if Fernandes were sidelined with injury. can beat you with
XI scheduled to start (3-4-3): GK – Conor Sparrow; D – Aaron Gillen, Forrest Lasso, Freddie Kleeman. M – Sebastian Dalgard, Lewis Hilton, Charlie Dennis, Conor Antley. F – Dayon Harris, JJ Williams, Cal Jennings
USLChampionship.com Prediction: Eastern Conference 2nd Place