Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bret Hedican Joins San Jose Sharks Radio

     Former Florida Panthers defenseman Bret Hedican has joined the San Jose Sharks radio broadcasts as a game analyst. He moves from being a studio analyst for San Jose Sharks games on Comcast Sportsnet California. He recently worked as a hockey game analyst for Westwood One alongside Panthers television voice Steve Goldstein at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
     Hedican played for the Florida Panthers from January 1999 until January 2002 and had 65 points in 202 games with the team. He played in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002 and won a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
     He started his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues and was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in March 1994. Hedican helped the club win the 1994 Western Conference championship before they fell to the New York Rangers in seven games at the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. He was traded along with Pavel Bure and Brad Ference to the Panthers for Ed Jovanovski, Kevin Weekes, Dave Gagner and Mike Brown in a blockbuster deal.

Friday, August 29, 2014

St Thomas Aquinas And American Heritage Preview

     Two of the top ten high school football programs in the United States will meet in the regular season opener on Friday night as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders face the defending FHSAA Class 5A state champions American Heritage Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. The Raiders defeated Dillard 31-7 last week in a preseason kickoff classic while the Patriots handled Dwyer 49-23 in a game televised on ESPN.
     St. Thomas Aquinas comes off a season in which they lost on the road in a regional final to the eventual Class 7A champion Dwyer Panthers. They enter this contest with a well-rounded offense. Jake Rizzo returns as quarterback and will look to connect with wide receivers Devante Peete, Sam Bruce and Jawuan Harris downfield. Running back Jordan Scarlett will get most of the carries from the backfield along with Deltron Sands and Khambrel St. Hubert also contributing.
     American Heritage hit the pinnacle last year and won their first football state title over Clay 66-8. Quarterback Torrance Gibson leads the team on offense as he can throw the ball to anywhere on the field and run out of the pocket. He will have numerous wide receivers to throw to that include Janarvis Pough, Brandon Johnson, Dredrick Snelson and Blair Barrow. Running backs Kyshaun Bryan and Travis Jackson expect to split the load on handoffs.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

High School Football Radio Broadcasts

     There will be several South Florida radio stations that will broadcast high school football for the 2014 season. Three local organizations return again this year to air high school football.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM will broadcast high school football games from Broward County and Dade County on Friday nights for the fourth consecutive year. New Florida International University football radio play-by-play announcer Mike Levine will announce games when FIU is not playing a road game that weekend. Former St. Thomas Aquinas and FIU quarterback Wesley Carroll will return for his second season at that post. No backup play-by-play announcer has been named, however WQAM morning sidekick Curtis Stevenson filled in for Levine one time last season.
     Good Karma Broadcasting will have high school football games from Palm Beach County and St. Lucie County on ESPN 106.3FM WUUB-FM and the website. They will broadcast Thursday night games and have their four-hour studio show High School Hysteria on Friday nights. Jeremy Marks-Peltz returns as the play-by-play voice and Florida Atlantic University radio voice Ken LaVicka will serve as backup play-by-play announcer. Good Karma Broadcasting has aired high school football since 2010.
     The radio station with the longest reign of broadcasting high school football in South Florida Sugar 900 WSWN-AM in Belle Glade will as usual cover the sport this year like they have for more than several decades. They will have either the Glades Central Raiders or the Pahokee Blue Devils on every Friday night. The regular season schedule will conclude with the annual Muck Bowl between both schools. Longtime radio voice Mike Dee will do the play-by-play for every broadcast.

Mike Levine New FIU Radio Voice

     Mike Levine has been named the new radio voice of Florida International University football. He replaces Tony Calatayud who has been the radio play-by-play football announcer for the team since the 2011 season. Previous FIU football play-by-play announcers in the past include Phil Schoen and Jeremy Marks-Peltz.
     Levine, a Penn State University grad, joined Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as a sports anchor and sports host in October 2007. He added duties as a radio play-by-play announcer for the University of Miami Hurricanes baseball team in 2010.
     He became a high school football radio play-by-play announcer at WKAT-AM in 2010 and has announced high school football for the South Florida High School Football Show on WQAM since 2011. He hosted a late night baseball show called The Clubhouse in 2011 and 2012. Levine was the evening sports anchor and executive producer of the Kevin Rogers Show from the late 2000s until August 2014.
     Prior to his move to Miami, he was the sports director, sports anchor and Kalamazoo Kings baseball play-by-play announcer at WQSN-AM and WQLR-AM in Kalamazoo, Michigan from March 2005 to September 2007. His first professional broadcast position was at WTAJ-AM in State College, Pennsylvania as a high school play-by-play announcer and a sports host from May 2003 to June 2004.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Glades Central At Dwyer Preview

     The Dwyer Panthers have their home opener in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night as they begin their reign as FHSAA Class 7A champions and host arch-rival the Glades Central Raiders at Blum Stadium. The Panthers, who went undefeated last year at 15-0, have won the last two opening game meetings between both schools after they dropped the previous six games.
     Dwyer played their preseason kickoff classic on ESPN national television last Sunday and lost to the defending FHSAA Class 5A champions the American Heritage Patriots 49-23 in Plantation. Glades Central barely held on to a kickoff classic road victory over the Lake Worth Trojans 26-20 last week.
     The Panthers, with two-time FHSAA state champion head coach Jack Daniels at the helm, have several recognized players from their offense returning as quarterback Daniel Parr will lead them while Cornelius Smith comes back as their top rushing threat. The team lost wide receivers Johnnie Dixon, Clint Stephens, Ezra Saffold, Shawun Lurry and running back Alonso Smith on offense to graduation. They look at Tavares Martin, a transfer from John I. Leonard, and Nick Martinsen as wide receiver options for Parr while Erick Hartnett comes in from the District 7-3A champions Cardinal Newman where he can add extra punch to their running game.
     The Raiders finished at 5-6 in 2013 for their worst record in over 20 years and were eliminated in the FHSAA playoffs during the first round for the first time since 2002. They named Rick Casko as their new head coach to lead the club in another direction.
     Glades Central has Andre Tommie as their primary quarterback with James Blackman in a back-up capacity. They will not have a controversy over the starting quarterback role like they had last season. Jonathan Istatche has returned to a wide receiver spot with the squad while Giovanni Lugo transferred. Running back Jerry Jones graduated and the Raiders now have Keith Clemones along with Ja'kevious Vickers to get the bulk of the carries from the backfield. Wide receiver Javis Jefferson sat out last week against Lake Worth, however Jamarius Way and Devonte Burden can fill in that void for receptions.

Jon Linder Interim WMEN Host

     640 Sports WMEN-AM began using Jon Linder as an interim afternoon host this past Monday. They had piped in Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone from NBC Sports Radio on August 22 . The station has still not decided who will replace Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, as their new afternoon drive host. Alzugaray did his final show at 640 Sports on August 21 before beginning his new position as a midday host at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM on Monday.
     Linder had a previous stint at 640 Sports as an early afternoon host for three weeks earlier this year from January 20 until February 7. He lost that position due to cost cutting when James Crystal declared chapter 11 bankruptcy. Linder joined the station as a fill-in host in December 2013.
     He was a sports reporter and fill-in host at WQAM from 2007 to early 2013. Linder was elevated to football studio host of the University of Miami Hurricanes Radio Network from 2010 to 2012 and hosted a late night football show from August until late December 2011. He had a long stint during the 2000s as an afternoon host and later a Sunday morning host at 770 WWCN-AM in Fort Myers.

Monday, August 25, 2014

American Heritage Drops Dwyer

     It was a battle between two defending FHSAA state champions as the Class 5A champion American Heritage Patriots defeated the Class 7A champion Dwyer Panthers 49-23 in a preseason kickoff classic at Heritage Field on Sunday. Dwyer moved their record to 0-3 on ESPN nationally televised broadcasts.
     Both teams begin the regular season next Friday night as the Patriots face the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. The Panthers host their Palm Beach County arch-rival the Glades Central Raiders at Blum Stadium.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Glades Central Holds Off Lake Worth

     The Glades Central Raiders almost blew a 20-point lead as they got by the Lake Worth Trojans 26-20 at Bill Harvey Stadium on Friday night in a preseason kickoff classic. Former Glades Central head coach Jessie Hester is now in charge of the Trojans while current Raiders head coach Rick Casko made his debut. Hester helped Glades Central reach the state championship game in 2008 and 2009.
     Glades Central commanded the first quarter to get up 14 points. On the third play of the game, Lake Worth running back Donte Fils-Aime fumbled the ball and it was recovered by linebacker Melvin Lawson at the Trojans seven-yard line. Running back Keith Clemones scored on the next play as he rushed up the middle at 10:30 to make it 7-0.
     On the Raiders next possession, Clemones set things up as he gained 33 yards on a run to the Lake Worth 15-yard line. Several plays later, quarterback Andre Tommie threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devonte Burden on the right side of the end zone with 4:37 to go in the first for a 14-0 lead.
     The Raiders kept the momentum early in the second quarter as they got a drive started at the Trojans 15-yard line after Lake Worth was unable to release the ball on a punt. Glades Central scored on a 4th-and-goal from the six-yard line as Tommie connected with wide receiver Jamarius Way on a crossing pattern and extended their lead to 20-0 with 6:12 left in the first half.
     Lake Worth capitalized on a turnover when Johnathant Istache fumbled the ball on a punt return at his own 30-yard line. The Trojans broke the shutout on the following play when quarterback Craig Wells threw a rainbow pass into the back of the end zone to wide receiver James Jones and made it 20-6 with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
     On the first play of the second half, Glades Central struck again as fullback Jakevious Vickers went around the right end and rumbled 78 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders, 16 seconds into the third quarter, once again had a 20-point gap.
     Wells pulled off a quarterback scramble for Lake Worth down the left side on a 4th-and-1 and scored from 11 yards away with 3:27 left in the third to cut the deficit down to 26-13.
     The Trojans would got one more score at 8:14 of the fourth quarter as fullback Daniel Montero smashed through on a run up the middle from three yards out.

WMEN Adds Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone

     640 Sports WMEN-AM has piped in Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone from NBC Sports Radio as their new afternoon show on an interim basis. They replace Orlando Alzugaray who did his final show on the station on Thursday and will begin as the midday host at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM this Monday. Alzugaray was the afternoon host at 640 Sports since October 2010.
     McNabb and Malone, two former NFL quarterbacks, have co-hosted an afternoon show on NBC Sports Radio since the network launched in September 2012. 640 Sports picked up the South Florida syndicated rights of the organization and has aired their evening, overnight and weekend shows over the last 23 months.

St Thomas Aquinas Takes Dillard

     The number one nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders hosted a preseason kickoff classic at Brian Piccolo Stadium on Thursday night and handled the Dillard Panthers 31-7. Both teams, who made the playoffs as district champions in 2013, met each other last year in a preseason game with STA victorious 21-10.
     In the first quarter, James McCourt finished the Raiders first possession with a 31-yard line drive field goal that clang off the crossbar and over at 6:27 to make it 3-0.
     On their next possession, running back Jordan Scarlett went through the left side and down the left sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run with 1:46 left in the first quarter. Zachary Cicero kicked the extra point and extended their lead to 10-0.
     Aquinas had a touchdown negated at 10:08 of the second quarter when left inside linebacker Velvario Faulkner returned an interception 67 yards for a score.
     They would add on to their lead when quarterback Jake Rizzo found wide receiver Devante Peete on a crossing pattern from 16 yards away with 8:15 remaining in the first half. Christopher Kirtley converted the extra point for a 17-point margin.
     St. Thomas Aquinas made it 24-0 as fullback Khambrel St. Hubert rumbled up the middle from 18 yards out for a touchdown with 5:52 to go in the second quarter.
     Dillard got their only touchdown in the fourth quarter when the Raiders fumbled the ball in the own end zone to cut the deficit to 31-7.
     The Raiders face the defending FHSAA Class 5A state champion American Heritage Patriots at Sun Life Stadium in their opening game next Friday while the Panthers travel four miles west on Sunrise Boulevard and challenge the Plantation Colonels at PAL Field.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fox Sports Florida Broadcast Aquinas Games

     Fox Sports Florida will broadcast four St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders football games during the 2014 regular season. The Raiders, who have been named the preseason number one ranked team nationally by Athlon Sports, have won seven FHSAA state titles.
     Miami Heat television play-by-play announcer Eric Reid will announce the opening game for the Raiders against the American Heritage Patriots on August 29 at Sun Life Stadium. The Patriots won their first FHSAA state title last year as the Class 5A champions.
     St. Thomas Aquinas will travel up to West Point, New York and play at Army against Don Bosco Prep on September 13. It will be a rematch between both nationally ranked high school football teams. The Raiders lost to Don Bosco Prep back in 2012 at Brian Piccolo Stadium.
     The last two home games of Aquinas will be televised. They host their top district rival the Plantation Colonels on October 31. St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Plantation four times in the last two seasons. The Raiders will seek revenge in their final regular season game on November 7 against the Deerfield Beach Bucks. STA were upset by the Bucks 22-7 in the final regular season game in 2013.
     The Dwyer Panthers, who knocked off St. Thomas Aquinas in the 2013 Class 7A regional final 35-28, will appear once on Fox Sports Florida. Quarterback Daniel Parr will lead them as they host the Atlantic Eagles on October 24. The Panthers captured the 2013 FHSAA Class 7A state championship and previously won another state title in 2009.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

All Florida Panthers Games On Television

     Fox Sports Florida will broadcast all 82 games of the Florida Panthers for the 2014-15 season. The organization has usually aired between 75 to 80 games a season for over the past decade. Games played by the Panthers in late March and early April have not been shown due to playing at the same time block as Miami Marlins broadcasts.
     Steve Goldstein returns as the television play-by-play announcer for his eighth season. Game analyst Denis Potvin returns to his post after a five-year absence. He was the Panthers television game analyst from their first season in 1993-94 until 2008-09. Bill Lindsay leaves his position as game analyst after five seasons and becomes a studio analyst and sideline reporter for the broadcasts. Drew Goldfarb will be the studio host for the second consecutive season.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Denis Potvin Back With Florida Panthers

     Denis Potvin will return to the Florida Panthers as their television game analyst on Fox Sports Florida for the 2014-15 season. It will be his second stint with the organization. He was with the club from their first season in 1993-94 until 2008-09 as a television game analyst. His broadcast partners he worked along with for 16 years included play-by-play announcers Jeff Rimer, Dave Strader and Steve Goldstein.
     Potvin, who captained and captured four Stanley Cup championship with the New York Islanders during the early 1980's, worked as a freelance television game analyst for several Canadian broadcast companies during the 2009-10 season. He was hired by Rogers Sportsnet as a television game analyst for the Ottawa Senators in 2010-11. His contract was not renewed when TSN picked up the television broadcast rights to the Sens following the 2013-14 season.
     Bill Lindsay will be shifted to a new role as studio game analyst alongside Drew Goldfarb and sideline reporter during game broadcasts. He replaced Potvin in 2009-10 as the Florida Panthers television game analyst on Fox Sports Florida. Lindsay was the radio game analyst for the team from 2007-08 to 2008-09.

Courtney Fallon To Exit WTVJ

     WTVJ-TV NBC6 sports reporter and weekend sports anchor Courtney Fallon will leave the television station in late August and join CBS Sports Network. Fallon will work as a sideline reporter of Army football games for the upcoming season. She joined WTVJ-TV Channel 6 in late August 2012 when she replaced Kristina Pink.
     Fallon, a University of Maryland grad, was a weekend sports anchor and sports reporter at WLNE-TV in Providence prior to her move to Miami. She was once a sports anchor at Sports Radio 98.5 The Sports Hub WBZ-FM and a news writer WHDH-TV in Boston. Fallon was also an intern at ESPN Radio and at Sirius XM Radio on the NFL Channel.

Brandon Guzio Out At WQAM

     Brandon Guzio has been let go by Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. He was the midday co-host with Alex Donno since early January 2014. They will be replaced on August 25 by Orlando Alzugaray, who comes from 640 Sports WMEN-AM where he was the afternoon host there since October 2010. Donno has been relegated to evening host and Florida Panthers Radio Network studio host as he replaces Kevin Rogers.
     Guzio, a University of Delaware grad, began his broadcasting career in 2004 at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM as a sports producer and sports reporter. He was an early afternoon co-host with Steve White from May to early September 2009 and then became a midday sports anchor and weekend host.
     He was promoted to morning sports anchor on the Jorge Sedano Show where he worked for several years until April 2012. He filled in for one month as an interim morning host when Sedano left the station before returning back to his morning anchor/weekend host role. Guzio was given the midday co-host spot with Eric Reed in late August 2012 when 104.3 The Ticket WMSF-FM launched, however he left the position after one week to join WQAM.
     Guzio reunited with former co-worker and WQAM program director Jorge Sedano in early September 2012 as the afternoon sports anchor, afternoon sidekick and weekend host. He dropped the weekend role and added duties as an evening co-host with Kevin Rogers in October 2012. Guzio shifted to the afternoon shift with Channing Crowder from September 2013 until December 2013.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WQAM Adds The Big O & Drops Kevin Rogers

     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM will make some changes during the month of August. Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, will return to WQAM while evening host Kevin Rogers will no longer be at the station. Alzugaray will become the midday host at WQAM on August 25 and replace Alex Donno and Brandon Guzio. Donno will shift to the evening host spot, replace Rogers and become the new Florida Panthers studio host.
     Alzugaray has been the afternoon host at 640 Sports WMEN-AM since October 2010. He began to work at WQAM back in 1995 as a reporter and weekend host. He was promoted to the midday host spot and the Miami Dolphins pregame studio host at that station. He was moved to the late morning shift when they hired Michael Irvin in July 2010. Alzugaray was demoted to evening host in August 2010 when Gino Torretta joined WQAM. That just lasted only two weeks and Alzugaray decided to leave.
     He first got noticed on News Radio 610 WIOD-AM and 940 WINZ-AM as a sports reporter in 1993 and stayed there for almost two years. He moved on to San Francisco where he hosted a sports show on the first national Spanish language sports talk station in the United States. The organization went out of business after less than one year and he returned home to Miami to work for WQAM.
     Rogers, who was let go by WQAM from evening host and Florida Panthers studio host duties, will continue to work for as a writer and handicapper. He has hosted on the Florida Panthers Radio Network since the Panthers moved back to WQAM in September 2010. Rogers, a Florida State University grad, had been with the station since 2008.
     He started as a sports host in Kansas City at KCSP-AM before heading to Miami. Rogers joined 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM in the mid-2000s. He worked as a late night host. evening host, late morning host and Florida Panthers studio host during his reign there.
     Donno, a 2007 University of Miami grad, began his broadcasting career at 790 The Ticket as a producer and reporter. He was elevated to afternoon sports anchor spot on the Dan Le Batard Show and hosted a mixed martial arts show named Fighter's Fury on Sunday mornings. He would leave the station in late July 2012 and join WQAM.
     He began as a midday sports anchor and weekend sports host for the show Fight Night. Donno added duties as a midday show sidekick with John Renshaw in April 2013. He was paired with Brandon Guzio as a midday co-host in early January 2014.
     Donno will become the ninth Florida Panthers Radio Network studio host in franchise history. The previous people to hold that post includes John Moynihan, Jon "Boog" Sciambi, Ron Flatter, Steve Goldstein, Jesse Agler, Kevin Rogers(twice), Jeremy Marks-Peltz and Guzio.   

Miami Ratings July 2014

     The Miami/Fort Lauderdale region remained the same for the 11th consecutive month as 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM was the top rated sports format radio station. All three sports stations saw their ratings not improve with the lack of local sports content along with talent taking time off.
     104.3 The Ticket stayed on top with a considerable lead as they dipped from a 2.3 to a 2.2 in July. It was not a surprise since the Miami Heat season ended in the previous month. It was the second straight month that the ratings slipped for them which has not happened since July and August 2013.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM saw a drop in their ratings, for the first time since they implemented their new lineup in April, as they went from a 1.1 to a 0.9 in the month of July. They have not seen a downward trend since February.
     For the sixth straight month, Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained the same with a 0.2 in the ratings period. The station is expected to have a ratings increase with the return of the Miami Dolphins in the following month.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Marlins Edge Reds

     The Miami Marlins got by the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. The Fish have won eight of their last 11 games on the road since the All-Star Game break. The Redlegs snapped a three-game winning streak.
     Mike Leake give up the Marlins first run in the game during the sixth inning. Casey McGehee doubled to left field with one out, Garrett Jones walked and Marcell Ozuna was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored McGehee.
     In the seventh inning, Giancarlo Stanton homered off Leake to left field on a 1-1 pitch for his 28th home run of the season to give Miami(56-59) a 2-0 lead.
     Cincinnati(59-57) broke up the shutout against Marlins relief pitcher Steve Cishek in the bottom of the ninth. Todd Frazier led off with a double to deep left field and crossed the plate on a double to left by Devin Mesaraco. The Reds had runners on first and third with two out when Zack Cozart struck out swinging to end the game.
     Nathan Eovaldi pitched eight scoreless innings for the victory as he allowed five hits and struck out eight. He improved his record to 6-6 this year while Cishek compiled his 28th save. Leake dropped to 9-10 as he gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stu Barnes Joins Dallas Stars Television

     Former Florida Panthers center Stu Barnes has joined Fox Sports Southwest as a studio analyst for Dallas Stars games. He had worked in an assistant coach capacity for several years with that club. He joins former Panthers defenseman Brent Severyn on the television panel.
     Barnes played for the Florida Panthers from 1993 until 1996. He helped the team get their first playoff series win in 1996 as they defeated the Boston Bruins in five games. After the Cats upset the defending Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, they edged the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games for the Eastern Conference championship. The Panthers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals.
     He was traded along with Jason Woolley in November 1996 to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Chris Wells in what many considered the worst trade in Panthers franchise history. Barnes was then sent to the Buffalo Sabres in March 1999 where he helped them win the Eastern Conference title three months later. He played his final five seasons with the Dallas Stars.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Manchester United Beat Liverpool For ICC

     The two most decorated soccer teams in England history met in the second annual International Champions Cup as Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night. It was the first time both squads faced each other in the United States as Man U now holds a 76-64-51 edge.
     Manchester United has captured 20 English League titles, 11 FA Cups, four League Cups and three European Champions League Cups trophies. Liverpool has won 18 English League titles, seven FA Cups, eight League Cups and five European Champion League Cups.
     Liverpool controlled possession of the ball for most of the first half. It paid off 13 minutes in when Raheem Sterling was taken down by Phil Jones on the left side of the penalty area. Reds captain Steven Gerrard put in the penalty kick into the low left corner for a 1-0 lead.
     The Red Devils bounced back following halftime and scored three goals in the second half. In the 55th minute, Javier Hernandez crossed the ball from the right side and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney struck a left-footed volley from six yard out into the low right corner to tie the game at 1-1.
     Manchester United continued their momentum and took the lead less than two minutes later. Luke Shaw passed the ball from the left side to the top of the penalty area where Juan Mata turned and fired a 17-yard left-foot shot that deflected off Mamadou Sakho into the back of the net.
     The Reds trailed 3-1 in the 88th minute when Jesse Lingard sliced a right-footed shot from 18 yards away into the low right corner following a cross from the right side by Ashley Young.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Strikers Top Rowdies In Florida Derby

     The Fort Lauderdale faced their cross-state rivals on Saturday night and edged the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 in the Florida Derby at Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers are undefeated in their last two games while the Rowdies have dropped two straight.
     The Rowdies had defeated the Strikers 3-2 at Al Lang Stadium back on May 24. The Coastal Cup will be decided on September 27 when Fort Lauderdale travels to Tampa Bay.
     Fort Lauderdale(1-2-1, 4 points) commanded the first 35 minutes of the contest as they had seven shooting attempts on goal and held Tampa Bay to no corner kicks. Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens made three saves during that time span.
     Tampa Bay(2-2-0, 6 points) took over in the final ten minutes of the first half. They got their best scoring opportunity in the 43rd minute. Forward Georgi Hristov passed from the right end line across the six-yard box by Strikers goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky, however defender Blake Wagner missed a wide open net from five yards out with a sliding left-footed shot that went wide left of the goalmouth.
     The Strikers controlled the action early in the second half and it paid off as they scored the only goal of the game with an outburst in the 72nd minute. Forward Jenison fired a shot from 20 yards away which hit the crossbar. Forward Fafa Picault followed with an 11-yard shot from the right side that went into the low left corner of the net for a Fort Lauderdale 1-0 lead.
     The Rowdies had two chances to tie the game in the final six minutes. Midfielder Evans Frimpong blasted a shot from 22 yards out that was saved in the 85th minute and defender Tamika Mkandawire hit a head ball barely over the crossbar in the 90th minute.