Bill Edwards, the outspoken owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the last five years has sold the USL team to the Tampa Bay Rays. The announcement came as a surprise to some, and means a new shift in the future direction of the team.
The Richmond Kickers were founded in 1993 as a member of what was then known as the United States Interregional Soccer League, or USISL. Although top-division soccer has enjoyed stability in the United States for the past 20-plus years with the success of MLS, the lower divisions have not. This has meant the Kickers have bounced from league to league and level to level in various incarnations of the USISL and its successor, the United Soccer League. As of 2018, the Kickers play in the USL’s only division, the second level of the American soccer pyramid, but change is on the horizon yet again as they will be moving down to USL’s newly-created second tier next year.
Taking in a Tampa Bay Rowdies game can be a bit of a surreal experience. Here in the middle of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, sits a former Minor League Baseball stadium that has been transformed into the home of a professional soccer team, where fans tailgate and march through the city center before singing the entire game in support of their favorite team. This is definitely not something you would expect to see in the south, and yet, it stands out as an incredible game day experience.
Soccer matches in a stadium designed for baseball seems like it could be full of issues. But Penn FC and FNB Field seem to work very well together. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the soccer team in terms of their own stadium, but the current setup works quite well.
After forgoing their 2018 USL season, Orlando City B has announced its return to the world of professional soccer. The team, a farm team to Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC, will be a founding member of the new USL Division III league that will launch in 2019.
Ask anyone from Cincinnati if they like a 3-way and they will know exactly what you mean. Cincinnati-style chili is a regional taste cemented that is a multi-million dollar business, but outside of the area, it’s more of an enigma.