Last Updated: Friday, July 16, 2010
FC Tampa Bay Rowdies began their four-match homestand with a scoreless draw against the Puerto Rico Islanders. Kickoff was delayed about 75 minutes but the field held up well once the game began.
“I think we definitely deserved something out of this game,» said Rowdies Head Coach Paul Dalglish. «I saw some really good performances tonight. We were a little bit lackluster against Minnesota last week. I was really disappointed that we got away from what this team is built on: hard work, closing down from the front and instant pressure on turnovers.
“I thought we got back to those principles really well tonight. The work rate was absolutely outstanding. This was a very important point for us against the most physical team in the league.”
The game could have been much different if Pascal Millien had scored one of his chances in the second minute. The Islanders defense was caught sleeping and Aaron King slotted a pass behind the defense to a waiting Millien. His shot from the left side was back across the face of goal and went inches wide of the far post.
Millien wreaked havoc on the left wing all night for the Rowdies. He saw most of the offense down his side of the field and took on Islanders left back Richard Martinez multiple times one-on-one. After a Mozzi Gyorio corner kick was partially cleared, Millien found the ball well outside the box but created a chance for Yendry Diaz with his excellent aerial pass into the box. Diaz sent his header just above Cody Laurendi’s crossbar.
“I’m feeling good,» said Millien. «You could see that the effort and teamwork were there tonight. If we can keep that going, hopefully we can find a little bit of luck too. We just didn’t get lucky but we can’t use that as an excuse. We’ve got to continue to work hard and find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.”
As the second half of the regular season begins, the Rowdies are in a playoff position and prevented the Islanders from leapfrogging them in the USL Conference standings. There are positives to take from the draw at home.
This was the third shutout of the season for the Rowdies defense. The previous two were against Crystal Palace Baltimore and AC St. Louis. The Rowdies have also only given up three total goals in their last four games.
“I think all I can ever ask of the guys is to work as hard as they did tonight,» said Dalglish. «On another night with a little bit of luck we could have won. I truly think this is a really good point that we just picked up.”
Article provided by Tampa Bay Rowdies.