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Match Preview: AC St. Louis vs. FC Tampa Bay Rowdies

Ok, in the last 48 hours, pretty much all of the talk has been about the financial situation. And, I am sure, I will be writing a little bit more about the situation in the coming days, maybe even as early as tomorrow. I do have my opinion on the situation, and I have very very strong opinions on how everything has been run. But still, we have to look forward for right now. What we say and what we do really cannot impact the possible outcome of the team folding or not.

With that being said, let us continue as if we would have before all of this news broke. And, as you know, we are playing FC Tampa Bay Rowdies tomorrow at AB Soccer Park.

AC has had some hard hills to climb during their season so far, and FC Tampa Bay could possibly even be a tougher challenge.

Paul Dalglish and his staff have put together a great core of player that, possibly, could be one of the most disciplined teams in the league. And, as of right now, they are one of the best coached teams in the league as well.

So far this season, one of the biggest problems that AC has had is that opponents have done a good job bypassing the AC midfield. When AC attacks, and the opposition’s defense gets control of the ball, and their defenders usually long ball the ball to their striking players, totally making the midfield of AC ineffective.

In preseason, Tampa Bay was a team that was already playing this style of soccer. While most of the opposition against AC have tried to bring the ball up the middle, Tampa Bay will more than likely take control of the ball in the central defense and midfield, and then long ball it to their wings. Therefore, expect Tampa Bay to have some very strong flank attacks that could spell trouble for AC.

The only way that AC can really neutralize Tampa’s attack is by making sure that the middle defenders do their job and don’t let their attackers get near the goal. Usually, the right and left flanks of Tampa will bring the ball almost to the end of the field and look for a good cross inside the box and work from there. If they cannot score, they usually can force a corner. And on corners, Tampa has looked quite impressive as well.

While keeping the Tampa attack honest, AC will have to do what they can to penetrate a strong defense. In addition to Julian Valentin, AC will have to try to get past both Joe Donoho and Yendry Diaz, both whom are giants in the defense for the Rowdies. In addition to their size, Tampa’s defense has some speed as well. If anyone saw the Kansas City Wizard’s preseason game at AB Soccer Park and can remember how the Wizard’s defense was able to shut down the AC attack with their speed. Don’t be surprised if you see deja-vu in this situation as well.

So, basically, AC will have their hands full on Saturday night. While Tampa is going to give them enough problems, AC supporters can’t help but wonder how much the off-field financial situation will affect them as well. I guess we will know in 24 hours from now.


One Response

  1. I’m sure it will be a tough game for AC, but I wouldn’t rule them out of getting at least a point. ACSTL has really gotten their act together (if you compare the last 3 games to their first 4), have been better on D and are finally scoring goals. Not many, but still more the last 3 games then the previous 4. Plus, Steve “The Savior” Ralston gets some time tonight. His contribution will be a plus no matter what.

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