By Official Florida FC
The Tampa Bay Rowdies were crowned co-champions of the USL Championship on Saturday after multiple players reportedly tested positive less than 48 hours before kickoff.
The Rowdies were set to host Phoenix Rising for the title on Sunday, Nov. 1. But, the United Soccer League elected to crown both teams champions.
“First and foremost, we want to applaud these two teams on an incredible season,” said USL President Jake Edwards in a statement. “They deserved the opportunity to play for the USL Championship Final trophy and we are disappointed that we won’t be able to watch them on Sunday night. With that said, we want to thank all of our clubs, our supporters, our players and our staff for all of their time, hard work and energy this season. We’ve grown closer under difficult circumstances and we can’t wait to be back together again soon.”
The league stated Tampa Bay and Phoenix are kicking around the idea of beginning the 2021 with a game.
Defender Forrest Lasso was one of the players who expressed his disappointment on Twitter. While he admitted the shared championship was “Not at all how we saw this year finishing,” he had plenty of reasons to be thankful.
On the pitch, the Rowdies ended the 2020 season with a 13-3-3 record. Sebastian Guenzatti led the club with 10 goals in 18 matches. Midfielder Zach Steinberger recorded four assists. Between the pipes, Evan Lauro was second in the USL with eight shutouts.