Hints of USL in Tampa Bay Rowdies match last night

2016-10-23_14-45-33In an NASL match with shades of USL written all across it, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards might have cast the most shade of all in a match fans of both clubs were calling “The Defection Derby.”

Multiple reports from Sports Illustrated’s Brian Strauss and Midfield Press, among others, have indicated that both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury may be on their ways out of the NASL after the conclusion of the 2016 season. While TICC has worked to obtain confirmations or denials, including from the top levels of the NASL, there still only remain rumors and speculation.

However, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards definitely brought some attention to this last night as the Rowdies played host to the Fury, a match that already had USL undertones.

A Tweet from the Unused Substitutes, an outlet covering the Tampa Bay Rowdies, showed the owner sitting just behind the Rowdies bench with USL CEO Alec Papadakis and USL COO Justin Papadakis. The spot they sat in is frequently on camera during broadcasts. The USL offices are located in nearby Tampa.

An announcement about their change in league could be coming shortly as the Rowdies shared that they had “another announcement or two up our sleeves.”

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While the Rowdies’ chances for a postseason came to an end last night, many eyes will remain squarely on the club as the end of the USL and NASL seasons come to their respective closes.

UPDATE: Since we posted this story, USL President Jake Edwards made comments at the USL Final about two strong teams being announced this week.

“I’m pleased to say that some of those rumors are true,” he stated to ESPN. “Next week, we’ll be announcing a couple of teams that will be joining the USL for the 2017 season.”

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