by JEFF HERNDEN
Jeff has weighed in with his ratings from Saturday’s frustrating draw in Ottawa. On the plus side, the scoreless draw was the fifth shutout the Rowdies have recorded this year. However, it was also the first time the team has been held scoreless this year. The Rowdies and the Fury were able to gain an edge on the other in the choppy midfield battle in the rain at TD Place.
What are your thoughts on how the Rowdies fared?
Matt Pickens (GK): Another quiet game for Pickens in net. He faced only 5 shots (2 on target) and made 2 saves, including a big one in the 83rd minute to preserve the draw and clean sheet. Two corners defended and kept his defense organized. Player rating: 7.5/10
Marcel Schäfer (LB): Solid defensively in his second straight start at left back, but offered little going forward with 3 unsuccessful crosses and only one touch on the attacking 3rd. 78 percent pass completion not up to his normal (albeit high) standards. Player rating: 7/10
Neill Collins (CB): Another solid night defensively. Important block in the 40th minute preventing a shot on target. 66 percent pass completion rate. Player rating: 7/10
Damion Lowe (CB): Compared to last week’s dominant display, Lowe had an average night with 1 tackle, 1 block, 4 interceptions, and 4 clearances. Still, he was Tampa Bay’s best defender. Player rating: 7.5/10 – Man of the Match
Darnell King (RB): First half yellow card meant King had to play cautiously on defense for much of the match. 1 block, 1 interception, and 3 clearances. Did not get involved in the attack successfully with 3 unsuccessful crosses. Player rating: 7/10
Martin Vingaard (M): Lackluster match for Vingaard. Held his position well but never really involved in the match. Only 39 had touches, with none in the attacking 3rd. Player rating: 6/10
Justin Chavez (M): Battled in the midfield with 49 touches (all in the midfield 3rd), and largely helped keep Ottawa from attacking, but also picked up a few fouls and a yellow card. Player rating 6/10
Leo Fernandes (M): Better shift than last week but still not the level he brought in the first two matches of the year. Managed just one shot off target, all of his passes were in the midfield 3rd. Needs to start getting forward and contributing from the left wing again. Player rating: 6.5/10
Georgi Hristov (M): Played more defensively than a player in the central attacking midfield role should. Kept team shape well, but an early yellow card meant he had to remain cautious. No shots and no touches in the Ottawa’s penalty area. Solid, but disappointing. Player rating: 6.5/10
Michael Nanchoff (M): Created several chances from his corner kicks, but otherwise did not contribute much offensively. Played his overall team role well. Player rating: 6.5/10
Deshorn Brown (F): Only two shots off target and three total touches in Ottawa’s final third. Can’t put the blame on him entirely as he received little service. Extremely quiet night. Player rating: 7/10
Martin Paterson (SUB/F): Came on in the 78th minute for Fernandes. Held his position well as we clearly played for the draw late. Player rating: 6/10
Alex Morrell (SUB/M): 87th minute sub for Nanchoff to shore up the defensive effort for the final few minutes. Player rating: 5/10
Unused Substitutes: Akira Fitzgerald, Joe Cole (injured), Luke Boden, Tamika Mkandawire, Kyle Porter.
Stuart Campbell (Manager): Difficult afternoon in the rain and on the turf. Campbell made two changes after last week’s win. Nanchoff replaced Darwin Jones and Hristov replaced Cole, who picked up an injury in warmups. For an away match against a tough side, Campbell set his team up well defensively. However, his tactics seemed to indicate that he set his side up to play for a draw, which is disappointing considering the Fury’s position in the table and their tough run of matches. Can’t really knock a tough away draw, but the Rowdies need to find a way to get the attack going. Manager rating: 6.5/10 — Overall team rating: 6.5/10