2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m.
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (800 Victory Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747)
Admission: Tickets start at $14 using the “Rowdies” promotional code! Click herefor more ticket information.
Matches will be streamed live on http://www.mlssoccer.com/live.
The Rowdies will have 13 signed players available for Saturday’s match, as well as 11 trialists.
2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic
The tournament consists of three group play games with unlimited substitution. In group play, there will be no overtime, and matches may end in a draw. Standings in the group stage will be determined by awarding 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss.
The NASL Champions will play a fourth match on Saturday, January 23 against the team that finishes in the same place in Group A. In all four ‘Championship Day’ matches, there will be no overtime, but any match tied at the end of regulation will move immediately to penalty kicks.
Disney Pro Soccer Classic Standings
Scouting Kansas City
Peter Vermes has been at the helm of Sporting KC since his interim position late in the 2009 season. Kansas City had an incredible run in the 2012 season, finishing the regular season first in the Eastern Conference with 63 points and an overall record of 18-9-7 (W-T-L). Sporting KC’s great year was not enough to earn the MLS Supporters’ Shield, as the San Jose Earthquakes took the regular season title with a total of 66 points.
In the MLS Playoffs they faced the Houston Dynamo in the Conference Semifinals, where they lost the first leg 2-0. Kansas City hosted the second leg but they were unable to equalize the aggregate, as they won 1-0 and were knocked out of the playoffs.
Sporting Kansas City enters the 2013 season as the defending U.S. Open Cup champions, qualifying for the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League for the first time in franchise history.
Sporting boasts a 4-3-3 formation, focused on US International attacking midfielder Graham Zusi. The 2012 MLS All-Star is known for setting up goal opportunities as he led the MLS with 15 assists, but he also has a great long-range shot.
Sporting has recently lost their top goal scorer, as forward Kei Kamara has been loaned out to English side Norwich City. To cover up for this loss, they have signed Argentine forward Claudio Bieler, who joins the team after several successful season with La Liga de Quito from Ecuador’s first division.
Sporting KC earned a 2-0 victory over D.C. United at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Wednesday night, marking their first win in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic. Midfielder Bobby Convey opened the scoring in the 74th minute, as Brazilian midfielder Paulo Nagamura picked up the assist on the goal. In the 81st minute forward Soony Saad doubled the lead with his second goal of the preseason. Haitian midfielder Peterson Joseph placed a through pass to Saad, who curled it past D.C. United’s goalkeeper.
The defending NASL Champions were defeated by the Montreal Impact by a score of 4-1 on Wednesday night in their second group match at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. The MLS side went up early in the first half, as Impact’s midfielder Felipe scored off a cross from midfielder Andrea Pisanu. Forward Marco Di Vaio capitalized on a penalty kick in the 17th minute making it 2-0 for Montreal. The Rowdies would cut the lead in half in the 38th minute after defender Takuya Yamada scored off a penalty kick. Di Vaio and substitute Sanna Nyassi scored in the 42nd and 66th minute respectively, making it 4-1 as the Rowdies dropped their second match of the tournament.
The Rowdies will have one more trialist available for Saturday’s match, as Turkish forward Sercan Guvenisik has recovered from an injury he sustained prior to preseason. With forward’s Devin Del Do and Jemal Johnson starting the first two matches of the preseason, it is probable that Guvenisik will pick up some playing minutes in tomorrow’s match against Sporting KC. Tampa Bay has several young players that add speed to the squad, as trialist George Tor showed in the second half of Wednesday’s match. His runs behind the opponent’s defense could pose a threat, along with midfielder Evan Frimpong’s skill and agility on the right flank.
Rowdies Head Coach Ricky Hill
“We have played many games in a very short period of time, so it is understandable that our fitness level is not at its peak. We have worked this week on our defensive positioning, as we have given up similar goals in both of the first two matches. Adding a trialist with MLS experience to the squad is great, giving us more options for the upcoming matches. It will be a tough match against a very talented team like Sporting, but once again we will put forth our best effort keeping in mind that every game helps us prepare for the regular season.”
The NASL Champions will play a fourth match in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Saturday, January 23 against the team that finishes in the same place in Group A. For more information on tickets, click here.
The reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions will start the 2013 NASL Spring Season by hosting the Carolina RailHawks in its 2013 home opener on Saturday, April 6 at Al Lang Stadium. For information on 2013 season ticketscontact the front office at 813-287-1539 or email@example.com. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date.