st.petersburg, florida – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their first offseason roster move on Friday. The club is set to hold at least 10 players from his past campaigns.
The Rowdies have announced that the club has exercised a contract option for midfielder Jan Eclat. It is pending league and federation approval and the French outstanding player will enter his fifth season at the club. Eclat currently ranks second all-time in USL Championship regular season appearances with 246.
Contracts for the 2023 season were goaltender Raiko Arrozarena and defender Conor Antley, along with 2022 USL Championship All-League First Team member Aaron Gillen. Midfielders Lewis Hilton, Nicky Lowe and Jake Allemann, 2022 USL Championship MVP Leo Fernandez, forward Jordan Adebayo Smith and Rowdies all-time scoring leader Sebastian Genzatti will be in attendance. Adebayo Smith sent his 2022 season on loan to the New York Red Bulls II, where he scored seven goals in 33 appearances.
Rowdies head coach Neil Collins said, “Year after year, the roster is built in a way that we want to be consistent, but it’s more important than being more consistent.” I don’t like it…a great player is back, very much appreciated in the league and very important to us.”
Goalkeepers Phil Breno and CJ Cochrane, defender Robert Castellanos and forward Jake LaCaba left the Rowdies after completing season-long loans from their parent clubs. After his stellar 2022 season, which recently scored 12 goals and was named a finalist for the USL Championship Young Player of the Year, LaCava was traded to Major League football Inter Milan CF.
Additionally, defender Timmy Male, midfielder Junior Eto’o and forward Kyle Greig will not be returning to Rowdies after the club rejected contract options for all three.
Defenders Jordan Scarlett, Thomas Vankaisiel and Ian Antley, midfielders Lawrence Wyck and Matt Surbury, and forward Steven dos Santos have also left Rowdies following the signing of their contracts.
“I wish all the players leaving the Rowdies the best of luck and thank them for their contributions,” Collins said. We have had several players leave in various circumstances that we thought would happen. My job is to do the best for Rowdies and lead the club to success.”
Head coach Neil Collins is currently in charge of his fifth full season, and the staff continues to work to secure players and new faces to return to the team in 2023.
“We didn’t lift the trophy this year, so I want to come back to work harder this offseason,” Collins said. It’s about doing better and how to get better as a coach, how can we make the most of everything we do?
“We have pretty clear values as a club. We especially want to see if it adds very strongly. This is a very simple but effective way to add to your team.”