With a lot of bad pressing coming out of the NAL over the past few weeks, the league had announced that the Tampa Bay Tornadoes will play their inaugural season in the NAL not AAL.
The Tampa Bay Tornadoes planned on having their inaugural season in 2020 as a part of the AAL, but due to COVID 19 the season was cancelled as well as the seasons of other pro arena leagues like the IFL and NAL.
I feel the move is a huge step up for the club. They will be joining already storied arena football franchises like the two time and defending champions Jacksonville Sharks, the Orlando Predators which sparks a new era in “The War On I-4“ rivalry. The NAL is also a better league overall than the AAL, especially on the production quality of their games.
This is a huge moment for management Alton Walker, John Amato, and Ken Nelson. The guys have worked really hard to get the team where it is today, all with one goal in mind. To reclaim Tampa Bays spot as the top tier organization in all of Arena Football.
A match up between the top clubs from Group G & Group H ended in a tie, not the outcome I wanted but I’ll take the points on the road.
So far this season I still haven’t seen the Tampa Bay Rowdies play a complete game. This was their second road test of the season taking on the Birmingham Legion who sit atop Group G. Since last season the Rowdies have always had trouble with the Legion and this game was no different. Coach Collins finally added Juan Tejada back into the lineup which added a much need speed boost on the offense. Tejada allows the defense to focus more of their attention on him allowing Sebastian Guenzatti to score a goal 51 minutes in. Goalie Evan Louro had some nice saves and is slowly becoming one of my favorites on the team.
This tie doesn’t make me as mad as last weeks home one to NCFC. Last week felt like a loss, we had a 2-0 lead at home and lost it after the half, this week we entered the half losing 1-0 and game back to tie. I like how the club never shows signs of giving up. If they can just turn up the heat more on offense I think the club will be fine going into playoffs. Next weeks game is against the Charleston Battery who is only 1 point behind us in Group H, so we need a big win at home. Hopefully I will be in attendance along with my fellow Ralph’s Mob & Skyway Casual supporters, cheering on our Rowdies!!!
In alliance with DiabolikDVD, new Blu Ray Boutique label Cauldron Films already has new drooling for more blu rays!
The new labels goal is to bring poorly or never released cult films for the 70s & 80s from across all genres. From all the work the team has done with DiabolikDVD they definitely are in tune with what the collector wants, learning from other boutique labels like Arrow, Vinegar Syndrome, and Severin Films.
The inaugural releases of “American Rickshaw” and “Abrakadabra”, the first being a latter Sergio Martino flick that has “Big Trouble In Little China” vibes. “Abrakadabra” is a 2018 film but it’s Giallo style makes it fit with the label. I am glad they included a newer film, something the other labels stay away from.
After getting the first two releases from the label I will definitely be getting a shirt and whatever the next two films, one a 1970’s Giallo that hasn’t been released on Blu Ray yet, and a 1980’s European horror film that has never been released in the US. The dedication to releasing hard to see films in America could be what separates Cauldron films from the rest. Can’t wait to see what the reaper cooks up out of the cauldron next.
Despite a 2-0 lead at half the, 2-2 tie with North Carolina FC feels like a loss for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
One might think a 1 hour rain delay would have put the club off balance, but right from the jump the Rowdies offense was running at full force. Both of the clubs stars Sebastian Guenzatti and Leo Fernandes put the club up 2-0 going into the half with, Fernandes scoring his 3rd goal of the season this one off a corner kick. North Carolina FC had some attempts at the goal but Goalkeeper Evan Louro had some good saves. He got nailed in the face pretty hard with one but was able to hold on.
The second half was a different story. I definitely noticed a lack of urgency and pressure in the second half. Instead of killing NC FC’s momentum they took their foot off the gas and allowed them to score 2 pretty easy goals. Louro is a solid goalie but so far anytime some kicks a high goal he just can’t seem to reach it. The offense definitely could have used Juan Tejada to give a little life into the game.
Even though it’s not a loss, I feel going into next weeks away game against the Birmingham Legion the club should take it as a loss and try to tighten things up. So far this season I have not seen the club play a complete game. Last week they didn’t show up at the start, but ended up pulling out a win at the end. This week they dominated from the start but couldn’t close which hopefully doesn’t cost them at the end.
I have faith Coach Collins will fix some of these mistakes throughout the week. I am looking for a big road win this weekend. Currently we are at the top of Group E with 7 points, making us a Top 5 club in the league.
Despite being down early the Tampa Bay Rowdies opened up with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta Untied 2, in the first game of the USL Championship Tournament.
The atmosphere in Al Lang Stadium was a little different than in previous matches with social distancing in effect. The organization allowed about 150 or so members from Ralph’s Mob and Skyway Casuals supporters groups to be in attendance. This definitely added to the clubs play on the field, with the club pretty much dominating the entire game except for that one goal. Personally I wouldn’t want to play in front of no fans, it would make the game feel like practice.
Juan Tejada was all over the place last night coming up with an assist on the first goal made by Lucky Mkosana. All game long I was waiting for my favorite Leo Fernandes to make a big play. After a bunch of corner kicks, Leo finally got in the net scoring the game winner, his second of the season. I really liked the hustle that Mustapha Dumbuya had the entire game.
For the first game with following social distancing guidelines I felt the club made it really easy for fans to be safe and have fun. Apparently I was sitting between both supporters groups which made for a different experience but being a member of both groups it didn’t really matter to me which side I sat on I just wanted to cheer on my Rowdies.
With more televised games I won’t miss a second of the action. I hope I am invited back to next weeks game so I can keep the Rowdies coverage coming.
The USL Championship resumes play this week, marking the return of the Sons of Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The league has been split up into 8 groups based on their regional position. The top two clubs from each group will then play in a single elimination playoff tournament to determine the new USL Cup Champions. The Rowdies are apart of Group H, along with Charleston Battery, Atlanta United 2, and inter state rival Miami FC. I am pretty confident the Rowdies can make it into the playoff round with only the Battery being sort of a threat. With our first win of the season coming before the pandemic the club is already atop Group H. The club will also play North Carolina FC, Philadelphia Union 2 , and Birmingham Legion FC.
As of now only a select number of family, friends, and Ralph’s Mob supporters will be allowed at Al Lang under strict social distancing guidelines. Later in August Season Ticket holders that did not ask for refunds will be allowed to attend two games of their choosing. Hopefully I am able to snag tickets to every match. ESPN + will be showing every home and away match except one so all fans of the club can show their support.