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1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season

Tampa Bay Rowdies
1977 indoor season
Owner George W. Strawbridge, Jr.
General Manager Beau Rodgers
Manager Eddie Firmani
StadiumBayfront Center
Top goalscorerLeague:
Derek Smethurst (5 goals)
Highest home attendance6,354
(March 9 vs. Zenit)
Lowest home attendance5,016
(Feb. 27 vs. Strikers)
Average home league attendance5,685

The 1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season was the third indoor season of the club's existence.

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.[1][2] As such, Tampa Bay played only two indoor matches that year.[3] The first one versus the Fort Lauderdale Strikers was played on February 27.[4][5] 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.[6] At the time Zenit was the reigning champion of the Soviet indoor league.[7] 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.[8] The Rowdies were also the first NASL side to ever be invited to the Wembley Indoor Invitational in mid June.[9] 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.[10][11][12]

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[13] 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.[14][15] 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



No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Paul Hammond  England
1 Goalkeeper Arnie Mausser  United States
1 Goalkeeper Winston DuBose  United States
2 Defender Farrukh Quraishi  England
3 Defender Alex Pringle (capt.)  Scotland
4 Defender Arsène Auguste  Haiti
5 Defender Reno Agostinis  Canada
6 Defender Mike Connell  South Africa
7 Midfielder Steve Wegerle  South Africa
8 Midfielder Wes McLeod  Canada
9 Forward Adrian Alston  Australia
10 Forward Rodney Marsh  England
11 Forward Len Glover  England
12 Forward Derek Smethurst  South Africa
14 Forward Joey Fink  United States
15 Midfielder Mark Lindsay  England
16 Defender Dennis Wit  United States
17 Forward Kevin Eagan  United States
19 Defender Frantz St. Lot  United States

Management and technical staff


Results summaries

Match reports

February 27, 1977 1Tampa Bay Rowdies9–8Fort Lauderdale StrikersSt. Petersburg, Florida
8:00 p.m. (EST) Lindsay  4:21' (Wegerle)
Smethurst  33:13'
Smethurst  34:04' (Alston)
Quraishi  41:34' (Smethurst)
Smethurst  41:57' (Wegerle)
Wegerle  48:29'
Smethurst  49:30' (Wegerle)
Wegerle  50:41'
Alston  51:47' (Smethurst)
Report Mulroy  12:07' (Nanchoff, Sharp)
Sharp  12:27'
Nanchoff  26:40' (Chadwick)
Ceballos  44:20' (Sharp)
Chadwick  47:40' (Hamlyn, Sharp)
Sharp  50:41'
Sharp  58:04'
Hamlyn  59:57'
Stadium: Bayfront Center
Attendance: 5,016
Referee: Sam Hornich
March 9, 1977 2 Int’l friendlyTampa Bay Rowdies7–8Zenit LeningradSt. Petersburg, Florida
8:00 p.m. (EST) Wegerle  6:51' (Connell)
Marsh  13:32'
Marsh  14:33' (Wit, Quraishi)
Smethurst  15:43' (Quraishi)
Glover  31:13'
Marsh  33:02' (Alston)
Marsh  47:25' (Pringle)
Report 1
Report 2
Lokhov  3:47' (Davydov)
Jakimtsev  10:42'42:26'
Orlov  17:11' (Golubev, Jakimtsev)
Rasputin  21:48'
Davydov  32:31' (Markin)
Jakimtsev  42:26'
Lokhov  56:11'
Golubev  56:47'
Stadium: Bayfront Center
Attendance: 6,354
Referee: Rene Imar (USA)


G = Goals (worth 2 points), A = Assists (worth 1 point), Pts = Points

Player G A Pts
Derek Smethurst 5 2 12
Steve Wegerle 3 3 9
Rodney Marsh 4 0 8
Adrian Alston 1 2 4
Farrukh Quraishi 1 2 4
Len Glover 1 0 2
Mark Lindsay 1 0 2
Dennis Wit 0 1 1
Alex Pringle 0 1 1
Mike Connell 0 1 1

1977 Tampa Bay Rowdies indoor season Club articles: 11

Player movement

See also


  1. ^ Chick, Bob (March 29, 1976). "Indoor Kicks May Go Awry". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  2. ^ Martz, Ron (March 12, 1977). "Indoor soccer season approved". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Rowdies Vs. Strikers In Exhibition Tonight". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 27, 1977. p. 3-D. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Meyer, John (February 28, 1977). "Rowdies: Bombs Away!". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  5. ^ Blankenship, Ken (February 28, 1977). "Smethurst-led Rowdies clip Strikers 9–8". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  6. ^ Blankenship, Ken (March 9, 1977). "Rowdies, Zenit roar into Bayfront". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  7. ^ Meyer, John (March 10, 1977). "Unfit To Beat The Russians". Evening Independent. p. 1-C. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Mudry, Richard (January 6, 1977). "Russians to provide Rowdies biggest test". The Tampa Times. p. 2-C. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  9. ^ Mudry, Richard (January 5, 1977). "TBAYSO set for return to action". The Tampa Times. p. 5-C. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Henderson, Jim (February 24, 1977). "Rowdies' Gate May Decide Indoor Future". Tampa Tribune. p. 4-C. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Rowdies Notes". Tampa Tribune. March 23, 1977. p. 3-C. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuaIdLaeP40
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2016-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "NASL Indoor Loop Boasts Eight Teams". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 11, 1977. p. 3-D. Retrieved September 19, 2016.