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Coffee Talk: Yep. We Definitely Still Prefer Winning

Sometimes you’re the one doing the kicking in the grass and sometimes you’re the one getting kicked in the grass. (and sometimes you’re playing on dirt patches and artificial turf nailed into the ground with the occasional blade of grass. More on that later)

Yes, the Rowdies have lost their first match of the season. It was bound to happen eventually, but that doesn’t make it sting any less. If you’re anything like us, you take every loss probably more personally than any healthy, well-adjusted adult should. With that in mind, here are five tips for dealing with disappointment of a Rowdies defeat.

  1. Find a void. Scream into it (Social media is not a recommended void).

  2. Blame PRO Referees. You know it’s what Bill Edwards does.

  3. Drink a glass of water. This is just good advice no matter the situation.

  4. Let go of attachment to outcomes. Make peace with the moment as it is and work from a place of acceptance. Recognize that many of our troubles are the result of our passion for things we mistake as enduring entities (Just kidding. Rowdies ’til I die).

  5. Think of this picture of Tam. He doesn’t want you to be sad. You deserve to be happy.

Matt Cox (@UnSub_Matt)

  • Despite all the talk about the condition and dimensions of the alleged pitch (myself included), I can’t pin this loss down to that. Louisville got that one extra chance and made it count.
  • It’s still early, but Tampa Bay has 3 yellow cards in 3 games, which is tied for the second fewest in the league (Tulsa leads with 12 in 3). The Rowdies are a much more disciplined team this year…so far.

Dan Endonino (@UnSub_Dan)

  • This is the one game where I’ll say I didn’t care about the result. I wanted a win, expected a draw, and am now immediately moving on from the loss. Away against the defending champs on bad turf? Next please.
  • Neill Collins had a great game but his center back partner, Hunter Gorskie, not so much. This defense hasn’t been the shut down force it was last season but it’s not time to worry yet.

Patrick Patterson (@Unsub_PhotoPat)

  • A loss on the road to the defending champs can be a good thing. Games like these can be humbling and bring attention to the areas that need growth.

Jeff Hernden (@jeff_hernden)

  • I’m not worried about this one. Defending champs, away, on a crap pitch. All the more reason to refocus and work towards having home field advantage in the playoffs. Hopefully this puts a chip on the team’s shoulder and drives us forward.
  • I’m happy with Stu using Rozeboom, but he didn’t have the team adjust enough tactically. Trying to play wide and cross on a narrow pitch isn’t effective. The team needed to play more direct and centrally.

Jake Nutting (@jakenutting)

The commentators missed it, but Neill Collins was shown his first yellow card of the year in the aftermath of Oscar Jimenez’s 69th minute winner. While the broadcast was busy showing us the replay of Jimenez’s goal, those in attendance at Slugger Field got to see what earned Collins the booking.

From eagle-eyed Rowdies supporters Mike Pendleton and Steve Connell:

Mike Pendleton on Twitter

Collins on fire after that goal…

Steven Connell on Twitter

@_S_Cundiff @phat7deuce He took his shoe off waved it in the refs face and then punted the ball into the stands. It was absolutely crazy.

  • Looking back at the buildup to the goal, Collins’ frustration with referee Jon Freemon seems to stem from not being given a second to fix his right cleat when forward Luke Spencer gave the Scotsman the ol’ flat tire. Collins immediately went to ground to sort out his footwear, looking back to Freemon to signal for a moment before the ball was thrown back into play.

via GIPHY

Fremmon wasn’t having it, though, and 12 seconds after Louisville’s quick restart, Jimenez had the ball in the back of the net. Tough break, but the Rowdies ample opportunity to prevent that goal. Credit to Spencer for using some middle school tactics.

The Rowdies out for pre-match warm ups Saturday in Louisville. Definitely not a photo from the 90s classic, The Sandlot.
  • Tampa Bay’s number one priority this year needs to be finishing with a higher playoff seed than Louisville. It’s entirely possible Louisville’s grass to turf/dirt ratio will improve by the time the postseason rolls around, but I’d love to avoid another trip there all the same. Even with a pristine field, the narrow field size at Slugger give me unwelcome flashbacks to the St Pete Baseball Commission days at Al Lang.
Jake Nutting
Writer at Large for The Unused Substitutes and NASL Beat Writer for Empire of Soccer. Fullbacks are people too.