Defense v. Defense
Legion FC’s trip to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on August 10 promises to provide both sets of fans with a defensive clinic. Heading into Saturday’s match, both Birmingham and Tampa Bay lay claim to two of the current best defenses in the USL Championship Eastern Conference.
The Rowdies have only conceded 15 goals over the course of the season, which is the best defensive record in the entire Championship, Eastern and Western Conferences, alongside fellow Eastern Conference side Indy Eleven. Legion FC, on the other hand, currently has the longest-active shut-out streak in the entire Championship at 375 minutes played without conceding.
Top of the Table
BHM’s trip to Tampa Bay will be no easy feat. The Rowdies currently sit first in the Eastern Conference standings, a position which they have earned all season. On top of boasting the Championship’s joint-best defensive record, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have also scored the second-most goals in the Eastern Conference behind New York Red Bulls II.
Tampa Bay showcased this offensive prowess in their most recent match against the Charleston Battery by putting five past the hosts. Legion FC’s recent defensive showings suggest that they will match up against the Rowdies’ frontline much better, and the black and gold will have to do so to steal points from a side like the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Things remain tight in the fight for a spot in the postseason, as only four points separate ninth through 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Legion FC (23 pts) sits two points off of the final playoff spot, currently held by Saint Louis FC (25 pts). However, Saint Louis currently has a game in hand on Birmingham, meaning they have one more than BHM left to play.
The Battery, who sit above Saint Louis with 26 points on the season, also has two games in hand on Legion FC. Charleston’s next match is against Saint Louis, though, so the result of that contest will add even more drama to an already intense playoff race. With so many possibilities floating around, its best that the boys ensure things remain in their own hands and avoid dropping points.
The match will air live locally on My68 and nationally on ESPN+. Follow @bhmlegion on Twitter for more info and live game updates.