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Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Loudoun United 2022: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch USL Championship online

Loudoun looks to thwart the Rowdies

Courtesy Loudoun United

Following a week where Loudoun United closed their 2022 home campaign by getting thumped by a playoff bound Detroit team, their reward for such work is going on the road, to play in Florida, facing a Tampa Bay Rowdies team bound for the playoffs and beginning the first of their final three games at home, with a Rowdies side looking for improved seeding towards the playoffs, in the hopes of reaching the USL Championship finals for the third consecutive season, and potentially hosting it for the same amount of time.

Loudoun (and by extension D.C. United) are starting to make decisions about next season, and some of those will bear out when D.C. plays Sunday, but Loudoun’s decisions are starting to be made now in terms of players to be kept, let go for other opportunities or the like. Similar to D.C., we may see what Ryan Martin has with his 2023 prospects, now that 2022 sees them playing the string out.

Key player concept: Weather the storm that returned.

The Rowdies lost the first chance due to Covid cancelling the finals, and Orange County SC won the second in Florida last year, so the Rowdies, hoping for the third time being the charm, start things off against the Red-and-White. The Rowdies’ return to Tampa following Hurricane Ian includes talented defenders like Jordan Scarlett and forward Steevan Dos Santos, players that are bigger than most and can bang into Loudoun’s best and brightest if they need to. The Rowdies have won five in a row over Loudoun, so this is another that would be a nice scalp to grab before the end of the year, but it won’t be easy, given who Loudoun will (or in this case, won’t), have.

Location: Al Lang Stadium (St. Petersburg, FL)

Kickoff time: 7:30 pm Eastern

Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: Kristian Fletcher and Matai Akinmboni will get some sort of run on Sunday afternoon, and Jacob Greene appears to be missing out, as is Tyler Freeman, both of whom Martin singled out for potential time. Jeremy Garay made the flight, but Carson Vom Steeg appears to have missed out. I’d expect Nicky Downs to play next to Jalen Robinson, while Gavin Turner, Isaac Espinal and Abdellatif Aboukoura comprise a roster than fully half of which is younger than 20. Luis Zamudio, on his way to going up with D.C. next year should start, if not, Drew Hartman, former Academy player and current committal to the University of Portland, will get the call.

Starters: Zamudio; Greene, Robinson (C), Downs, Rio Hope-Gund; Jeremy Garay, Houssou Landry; Turner, Skage Simonsen, Abdoul Zanne; Freeman

Bench: Hartman, Jean-Christophe Koffi, Aboukoura, Espinal, Azaad Liadi, Jonathan Benteke

Key Tampa player/former D.C. players: Lewis Hilton

I would have picked Leo Fernandes, but a late red card in last week’s game against Monterey Bay took care of that! Jake Lacava is second on the team in goals (11) so he’ll require some attention, but Fernandes is second on created chances (52) to Hilton’s 57, and the veteran of more than 200 USL Championship will have his chances to feed Lacava but is particularly dangerous on free kicks.

Referee: Eric Tattersall

Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)

What do we have to say about it?: I rather enjoyed talking with Jalen Robinson a week or so ago and put it on the internet for all to read.

What are you drinking?: Bottle shop near Segra has a Barreled Souls barrel-aged stout on draft, so I guess I have a crowler to grab.

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