Rowdies return to practices in limited fashion

Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – It was more than just a few players kicking around a ball as the Tampa Bay Rowdies hit the field at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg for the first time in nearly two months.

Thanks to eased workout restrictions by the USL Championship, the Rowdies are allowed back into their home ground for workouts as this week’s low key sessions hardly resemble a normal practice, however, as strict measures are in place as the USL and the bay area emerge from coronavirus restrictions.

Small groups of no more than four players at a time are permitted on the field and while the drills are fast and intense but no contact is allowed. The only players allowed inside the clubhouse training center are those receiving treatment for injuries.

The Rowdies’ season was paused on March 12, the day before the club was due to play its second match of the season.

The USL Championship followed the sports world, shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic. An initial 30-day training moratorium was extended to May 10 and eventually pushed to the 15.

The league took a step back, allowing teams limited training access this week and the Rowdies are happy to take advantage of the opportunity.

To date, the Rowdies have had nine matches postponed and would have played their fifth home match of the season this Saturday against Loudon United FC. Their lone match of the season was an opening day road victory, 1-0 over New York Red Bulls II.

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