1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season
|1977 indoor season|
|Top goalscorer||League: |
|Highest home attendance||6,354|
(March 9 vs. Zenit)
|Lowest home attendance||5,016|
(Feb. 27 vs. Strikers)
|Average home league attendance||5,685|
1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season Intro articles: 2
Despite much lobbying from Rowdies owner, George W. Strawbridge, Jr., the North American Soccer League voted not to sanction an indoor season or tournament in 1977. As such, Tampa Bay played only two indoor matches that year. The first one versus the Fort Lauderdale Strikers was played on February 27. This marked the first meeting of what would soon become one of the most enduring rivalries in North American soccer, the Florida Derby. The Rowdies' other match was an international friendly against Zenit Leningrad on March 9. At the time Zenit was the reigning champion of the Soviet indoor league. Likewise, the Rowdies were the defending NASL indoor champs. Both matches were played at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Originally Tampa Bay had planned on playing FC Dynamo Moscow, but the match was canceled because of government delays in the Soviet Union. The Rowdies were also the first NASL side to ever be invited to the Wembley Indoor Invitational in mid June. The ten-team tournament featured five English clubs, plus other top squads from Europe. Although they originally planned to attend the London event, ultimately the tournament was canceled and the Rowdies scheduled an outdoor international friendly in Tampa versus A.S. Roma instead.
1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season Overview articles: 10
Longterm cultural significance
Not only was this brief indoor season the flash-point for one of the longest running soccer derbies in North America as previously mentioned, but it was significant for another reason. When Ed Tepper approached Earl Foreman about starting a fully professional indoor-only league, he used a videotape of the 1977 Rowdies–Zenit Leningrad match to show not only the game's potential, but also the crowd's enthusiastic responses to the end-to-end action. By October 1977 the pair announced the formation of the Major Indoor Soccer League. That league would grow to become the sport's standard bearer for many years, even gaining a regular slot in the ESPN line up, before finally folding in 1992. Today, though most popular in North America, indoor soccer is played throughout the world, with its own FIFA-like governing body. The World Minifootball Federation, based in the Czech Republic, is the international federation dedicated to promoting the sport.
1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season Longterm cultural significance articles: 5
|3||Defender||Alex Pringle (capt.)||
|19||Defender||Frantz St. Lot||
Management and technical staff
George Strawbridge, Jr., owner
Beau Rogers, general manager
Eddie Firmani, head coach
Chas Serednesky, business manager
Francisco Marcos, director of public relations
Alfredo Beronda, equipment manager
|February 27, 1977 1||Tampa Bay Rowdies||9–8||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|8:00 p.m. (EST)||Lindsay
|Stadium: Bayfront Center|
Referee: Sam Hornich
|March 9, 1977 2 Int’l friendly||Tampa Bay Rowdies||7–8||Zenit Leningrad||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|8:00 p.m. (EST)||Wegerle
|Stadium: Bayfront Center|
Referee: Rene Imar (USA)
G = Goals (worth 2 points), A = Assists (worth 1 point), Pts = Points
1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season Club articles: 11
- Chick, Bob (March 29, 1976). "Indoor Kicks May Go Awry". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Martz, Ron (March 12, 1977). "Indoor soccer season approved". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- "Rowdies Vs. Strikers In Exhibition Tonight". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 27, 1977. p. 3-D. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Meyer, John (February 28, 1977). "Rowdies: Bombs Away!". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Blankenship, Ken (February 28, 1977). "Smethurst-led Rowdies clip Strikers 9–8". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Blankenship, Ken (March 9, 1977). "Rowdies, Zenit roar into Bayfront". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Meyer, John (March 10, 1977). "Unfit To Beat The Russians". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Mudry, Richard (January 6, 1977). "Russians to provide Rowdies biggest test". The Tampa Times. p. 2-C. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- Mudry, Richard (January 5, 1977). "TBAYSO set for return to action". The Tampa Times. p. 5-C. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
- Henderson, Jim (February 24, 1977). "Rowdies' Gate May Decide Indoor Future". Tampa Tribune. p. 4-C. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "Rowdies Notes". Tampa Tribune. March 23, 1977. p. 3-C. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
- Henderson, Jim (May 17, 1977). "Rowdies To Sign Two Scots, Will Host Rome Club In June". Tampa Tribune. p. 1-C. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2016-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "NASL Indoor Loop Boasts Eight Teams". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 11, 1977. p. 3-D. Retrieved September 19, 2016.