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Legion FC falls to league-leading Rowdies

By Clayton Humphries, 06/01/19, 10:45PM CDT


Tampa Bay scores twice in first half, rely on league’s best defense in the second

BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 1, 2019) – Birmingham Legion FC dropped a tough game, 2-0, at the feet of the league-leading Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night at BBVA Compass Field.

After injury concerns piled up the last few weeks for Legion FC, the majority of those players were available tonight, just in time to have to face the only undefeated team left in the USL Championship. #7 Brian Wright and #11 JJ Williams also both returned on loan from their respective MLS clubs, joining #5 Mikey Lopez and #1 Matt VanOekel on their return to league playing following a stint on the injury report.

Legion FC held the majority of possession in the first half, at 56.7 percent, and created a few quality chances, getting two shots off to Tampa’s three, but the Rowdies were clinical in front of goal, putting away two goals in the 28’ minute and 44’ minute.

The first goal came from a quick counterattack and ended with midfielder Andrew Tirani finding the club’s leading goal scorer Sebastian Guenzatti for the finish, and then Tirani got his own goal to change the game just before the half.

The hometown team came out with a bit more energy in the second half, pressing Tampa effectively and winning the ball high up the pitch, evening earning a penalty kick in the 50’ minute, but the attempt was saved by the Rowdies keeper. After only giving up four goals at this point in the season, Tampa Bay dropped ten men behind the ball to see out the win and take home all three points.

Finishing up a tough stretch of the schedule, Legion FC Head Coach Tommy Soehn was disappointed his squad could not get a result to pull back over the playoff line. He said, “I don’t think we came out with enough bite in the first half…we only gave them three shots [in the first half] and they scored on two of them, but we didn’t give them much after that. Unfortunately, it’s just not good enough.”

“We can’t afford to come down and fight to have to come back. Our goal was to come into halftime with a lead and we didn’t do that and were chasing. Credit to the guys in the second half, they were able to do what we weren’t able to do in the first half, but still came up short. You miss a penalty and that’s a big moment. If you get that goal it puts them under pressure. A lot of things could have changed, but unfortunately it wasn’t our day today.”

“I think right now it’s just frustration. Everybody wanted more out of this. It’s a bit of a measuring stick, when you play a team like this that’s undefeated – where do you rank against them? They showed their class; they didn’t need a bunch of chances or opportunities. They needed two and they put it away, and we created more chances than them and we didn’t get close. That’s the part we still have to get better at.”

Box Score:


1st Half

2nd Half








TBR – 28’ minute - #13 Sebastian Guenzatti (assist #15 Andrew Tinari)
TBR – 44’ minute - #15 Andrew Tinari (assist #14 Malik Johnson)

BHM is back in a one-game-a-week stretch of the schedule and will head to Charleston to take on the Battery on Saturday, June 8. The match will air locally on My68 and nationally on ESPN+.

The boys return to BBVA Compass Field to face Hartford Athletic on Saturday, June 22 at 7:00PM. Tickets are available at or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-600-4635.

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