Sounders Insider

Schmid: Rowdies are solid, but field is bumpy

RowdiesThe Sounders arrived in St. Petersburg, Fla., around 8 last night after a long flight from LA, and a two-hour bus ride from Orlando.

Sounders Djimi Traore, Mauro Rosales and Leo Gonzalez didn’t travel to Florida, while Dylan Remick, Eriq Zavaleta, Sammy Ochoa and Andy Rose, who didn’t travel to Los Angeles, joined the team there. Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans have left to join the U.S. national team. Osvaldo Alonso and Patrick Ianni are ineligible after receiving red cards in the 2012 U.S. Open Cup final.

In a conference call this afternoon, coach Sigi Schmid gave this scouting report on the Tampa Bay Rowdies and their home pitch, Al Lang Stadium, where the clubs will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup:

"They’re a good team. Obviously they won the championship last year in the NASL. Perry Van Der Beck (executive vice president, technical director and director of player development) has been around for a while. I’ve known him since the days when he played with the Rowdies in the old NASL. They’ve got a good Bulgarian forward Georgi Hristov whose scored a few goals for them – he had two goals I think for them in their last game on Sunday as well. Luke Mulholland on the right wing, an English player for them, I think he leads the league in assists right now with like four. He’s gotten a few goals for them as well. Obviously you’ve got Zach Scott’s brother (Daniel), I think everybody’s pretty much aware of that. They’ve got a lot of solid players. They’ve built a solid team here.

"The field is small. It’s only 105x70. It’s a little bit bumpy, so it’s going to be a good concentration for the guys to concentrate on their first touch. We were doing practice today and somebody tried to swing a cross and it took a little bit of a jump on what would have been home plate and popped over his foot. It will be an interesting game from that standpoint as well."

Meanwhile, some addition game notes from the club:

Cup Format NotesIf any U.S. Open Cup game is tied at the end of regulation, a 30-minute extra time period (consisting of two 15-minute halves) shall be played in its entirety. If the score is still tied at the end of the 30-minute extra time period, the game shall be decided by a penalty kick tiebreaker. Teams are limited to five foreign players on the 18-player match roster and only one assist is counted in the official records. Seattle defender Patrick Ianni and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will serve a one-game suspension on Wednesday after being issued red cards in last year's final. About Tampa Bay The Tampa Bay Rowdies are the reigning champions of the North American Soccer League, and finished second overall in the 2012 regular season. The current Rowdies were founded in 2008, but the team was originally created in 1974, participating in the NASL and various minor leagues until folding in 1993. The Rowdies are currently third in the NASL standings at 3-2-2, having gone winless at home (0-2-2) and a perfect 3-0-0 on the road. Bulgarian forward Georgi Hristov and English midfielder Luke Mulholland co-lead the team with four goals and three assists each. The team's best finish in Open Cup play was last season, reaching the third round before losing to the Colorado Rapids, 3-1.

The Rowdies feature local connections in defender Daniel Scott, brother of Sounders FC defender Zach Scott, and Raphael Cox, who is originally from Tacoma, Wash. Both Scott (Kitsap Pumas/2011) and Cox (Atlanta Silverbacks/2012) have previously faced Sounders FC in the third round of the Open Cup. And the Winner is... The winner of the Sounders FC-Tampa Bay Rowdies match will advance to the fourth round to face the Wilmington Hammerheads-Portland Timbers victor. Should Sounders FC advance, Seattle would host either the Hammerheads or Timbers at Starfire Stadium on June 12 at 7 p.m. PT. Should Tampa Bay advance, the Rowdies would either visit Portland on June 12 or face the Hammerheads at a yet to be determined location. In the 2013 edition of the U.S. Open Cup, home teams are determined by a random selection process from among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements.

Road Trip Tested: Sounders to Travel Furthest Sounders FC will travel over 6,700 miles in an eight-day span, beginning with last Saturday's trip to Los Angeles. The cross-country trip from Los Angeles to Tampa means Seattle will travel further than any other MLS team for the U.S. Open Cup third round. Following Wednesday's match in Florida, Sounders FC will return to Southern California to take on Chivas USA before returning to the Pacific Northwest next Sunday. Over the past four years, Sounders FC has played more road matches (five) in Cup play than all but one MLS side.