The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 has joined the league as an expansion team ahead of the 2016 season. The club will compete in the South Region’s Sunshine Conference.
“It’s wonderful to see another NASL team get involved in our league,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “The Rowdies brand means so much to American soccer and we are so excited for our fans and supporters. This will be remembered as a great day for the NPSL.”
Details regarding a home venue and match tickets will be announced at a later date.
“Rowdies 2 will bring an iconic brand to the NPSL and we assure our fans that we will sign top talent to compete for a championship,” Tampa Bay Rowdies Owner and CEO Bill Edwards added. “Rowdies 2 will be one of the top clubs both on and off the field, bringing exposure, talent and experience to the league.”
The Rowdies were the first professional sports franchise in the Tampa Bay area and remain one of the most recognizable and well-loved brands in soccer. Originally established in 1975, the team won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship in its inaugural year and created a unique, entertaining and memorable franchise with the Fannies, Wowdies and unforgettable Kick in the Grass theme song.
In 2008, a group of investors announced the purchase of rights to a professional soccer franchise and the newly established team began play in 2010. In 2012, the Rowdies won the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship after a thrilling shoot-out victory in front of a sold out crowd at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. In December of 2013, St. Petersburg philanthropist Bill Edwards announced he acquired the controlling interest of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“The NPSL is an established league that gives the Rowdies (NASL) an opportunity to develop players and compete against strong opponents,” Edwards concluded. “This will also increase the Rowdies brand exposure to a new audience.”
Rowdies 2 will compete in the Sunshine Conference of the South Region, which currently includes: Fort Lauderdale Strikers U-23, Jacksonville United FC, Kraze United (Orlando), Miami Fusion FC, Miami United, Storm FC and Weston FC.
Rowdies 2 will announce a head coach in the near future.