By Sean Barows
TAMPA – A big crowd was on hand Saturday night to watch the University of South Florida men’s soccer team take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League in an exhibition match at Corbett Stadium.
It was a great atmosphere with a mixture of Bulls and Rowdies fans packing into the seats and bleachers as well as all three berms surrounding the field. Making the crowd even more impressive was the fact that the USF baseball team had a game going on simultaneously across the street.
“The crowd was great and I think that sends a message to recruits. The truth is this doesn’t happen too much for college teams in the regular season let alone for a spring game so there is definitely some great support for the Bulls and were appreciative of that,” said head coach George Kiefer.
For USF it was a great opportunity to test their skills against a professional opponent.
“I wanted to see how we would do, could we handle the game at times, can we handle possession, can we link passes up, can we control the flow of the game and I think we did a good job of that at times,” said Kiefer.
It also gave Bulls fans a unique opportunity to catch a sneak peak of the team going into next season and they had to be pleased with what they saw. The Bulls were able to hold their own by generating a few good scoring chances from Kevin Olali and Wesley Charpie despite losing by a score of 1-0.
“I was really pleased with the way the guys played, simple, moving the ball and connecting passes. I was pleased with the performance of the guys,” said Kiefer.
The game was played to help the Rowdies prepare for their upcoming season which kicks off April 7 in Puerto Rico.