In an attempt to build onto their most convincing performance as a group, Loudoun United hosted the Tampa Bay Rowdies Wednesday night in front of 360 at Segra Field. With an infusion of players from the first team, the Rowdies defeated Loudoun 2-0 in Neil Collins’ 100th game as Rowdies coach.
Loudoun did make some changes from Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Indy Eleven to accommodate minutes for D.C. United; Jacob Greene and Michael DeShields returned to the starting lineup, as did Jovanny Bolivar, playing next to Kimarni Smith. The balance of the starters was from the midweek win.
Following a tightly played twenty minutes, a Landry Houssou foul on Sebastian Guenzatti in a dangerous position allowed the Rowdies to open the scoring:
Near the end of the first half, Forrest Lasso connected from a Hilton free-kick to extend the Tampa lead.
Into the second half, Landry Houssou was fouled in the area by Evan Louro and referee Luis Arroyo ruled a Loudoun penalty, but Louro returned and saved Timmy Mehl’s attempt as Loudoun remain jinxed from the spot in 2021:
That's @evanlouro123's second penalty save this season, and fourth of his career in the regular season, T-4 in the @USLChampionship since the start of the 2017 season. @LoudounUnitedFC is now 1 of 5 from the penalty spot this season. #LDNvTBR #TogetherRowdies https://t.co/pxVP8VQuuv— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) August 24, 2021
“For our end, it was a much better performance than the last time in Tampa (a 3-1 loss July 24), obviously the result’s not what you want,” coach Ryan Martin said after the game. “Our big focus was a better start to the match than we had down (there); we felt like we showed our youth and naivete and (to) come in here and dictate the game and make it very difficult for them, we felt like we did.”
“We knew it was gonna be a physical game,” Mehl said after the game. “We knew their strengths and our weaknesses based on their height and physicality. We tried to limit their free kicks and set pieces, and we thought we played well, they played to their strengths pretty well.”
Loudoun (3-15-1) is off for a few days before preparing for their next game at Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, September 4 at 8:00 pm.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 19
Loudoun United FC 4 (Mehl (PKM) 52)
Tampa Bay 2 (Hilton 23, Lasso 45+2)
Loudoun (3412): Jermaine Fordah; Alexxon Saravia (Sammy Sergi 60), Timmy Mehl (C), Michael DeShields (Darluis Paz 46); Jacob Greene, Nicky Downs (Tyler Gabarra 60), Landry Houssou, Robby Dambrot (Wahab Ackwei 70); Ted Ku-DiPietro; Jovanny Bolivar (Kairou Amoustapha 71), Kimarni Smith
Tampa Bay (343): Evan Louro; Jordan Scarlett, Forrest Lasso, Aaron Guillen; Conner Antley (Max Lachowecki 73), Jordan Doherty (Matthew Srbely 86), Lewis Hilton, Sebastian Dalgaard; Sebastian Guenzatti (C) (Juan Tejada 73), Steevan Dos Santos (Lucky Mkosana 73), Yann Ekra (Lawrence Wyke 61)
Loudoun - Saravia 36, Houssou 64
Tampa Bay - Wyke 82, Mkosana 87