A week after the Puerto Rico Islanders played the Tampa Bay Rowdies to a 1-0 win last Saturday night, the Rowdies have filed an official protest with the United States Soccer Federation over safety concerns over the match.
“The safety of the players on both teams was severely compromised, and we implored both the USSF and the officials on site not to allow the match to be played, said Rowdies Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck in a statement released by the club.
“We are extremely disappointed in the field conditions that our team encountered last weekend at Puerto Rico …we look forward to a response from the Federation as soon as possible.”
Prior to, and during the 8 p.m. match, Bayamón’s Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium experienced heavy rainfall that left the field muddy and puddled with water.
“This is the first time I have heard of this,” said Islanders board member Stuart Klapper. “I have never heard of a complaint of this kind before,” he added.
The Rowdies have sent photos of some areas of the field as part of their appeal.
“Both teams have been playing under the same conditions,” said Klapper. “I don’t know what they expect.”
Both teams have played under rainy conditions before and only one game the last USL First Division season. A Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact match scheduled during a major thunderstorm was canceled mid-game due to rain.