Great googly-moogly, it's hot (did I mention I was recently promoted to the rank of captain of the obvious? It's pretty sweet). As I type this sports mess, it's currently 94 and cloudy. Cloudy. If the sun peeks through it will cut like a laser beam and your body will explode in a mess of sweaty balls of fire. It is so hot (how hot is it?) that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, my seat-belt buckle and in my pants. It's also the time when we celebrate our nation's independence by further aggravating possible heat stroke by spending the day outside hovering over a grill and blowing shit up. America ... F*** yeah.
So in the wake of drinking, sweating and possibly losing a finger, let's get you caught up on the world of Tampa Bay sports.
With the FIFA World Cup winding down and with the U.S. Men’s National Team ousted, it doesn’t mean futbol fever needs to end. The Tampa Bay Rowdies — or as billboards around the region proclaim, Tampa’s professional soccer team — will host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Friday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. in a preseason friendly match before the NASL kicks off its Fall Season on July 12.
The Fourth of July contest also gives fans an opportunity to enjoy the City of St. Petersburg Fireworks show after the match. The meeting between the two clubs on July 4 marks the fifth consecutive time since the Rowdies were reborn in 2010.
In addition, fans will get a chance to see the new playing surface installed in the ever-evolving Al Lang Stadium during the break between the NASL Spring and Fall seasons. The previous field received many complaints from Rowdies’ players and opponents over the course of the past few years since the Rowdies began using the iconic venue.
The Rowdies then will host Orlando City Soccer Club on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. in the second leg of the I-4 Derby, presented by United World Soccer. Another fireworks show will follow the match.
Fans can get a buy one, get one discount for Sunday night’s match by calling 877-ROWDIES or using the promo code “BOGO” online at rowdiessoccer.com.
Prorated season ticket packages are available now for the nine-game NASL Fall Season home slate. Every team in the league will visit Al Lang Stadium in the coming months, including the club’s biggest rivals, the New York Cosmos (August 16) and Fort Lauderdale Strikers (September 27.) In addition to the action on the field, fans will receive added value with premium giveaways such as Rowdies player “faces on a stick”, sunglasses and an interactive spirit card presented by tbt*.
Or so they thought.
Say what you want about soccer, or as Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima calls it in the Kia commercials, "futbol," the 2014 FIFA World Cup has taken over the pubs, televisions, computer screens, and city squares of the U.S.A. in an unprecedented way.