Monday, August 17, 2009

Colleges: USF, Tampa renew Rowdies Cup rivalry

For the fifth consecutive year, the Rowdies Cup will be up for grabs as the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa men face off at the USF Soccer Stadium at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in last season’s encounter, ending a run of three straight Bulls victories since the series was revived in 2005.

Now, with USF ranked No.11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I poll, and Tampa ranked No.3 in the Division II poll, the match should provide a good measure of where both teams are after a week of training camp.

"This is a really fun game for us and I really think that both program's respect each other," said USF head coach George Kiefer. "I think that it's a game that needs to happen in this area. It's two of the top teams in their divisions (Division I and II), it's good for the community, it's good for the game of soccer and that's why we play it."

It is the preseason opener for both sides, and the event is all the more significant now since the announcement of the return of the Rowdies to the United Soccer League’s First Division next season. The trophy awarded to the winner of the annual contest is the same as the one the original inception of the Rowdies won in 1975 as NASL champions.

Former Rowdies player, and current Rowdies Technical Director, Perry Van Der Beck will also host a free soccer clinic from 6-7 p.m., as he has frequently across the bay area in the past couple of months.

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