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INTERNATIONAL MATCHUP: Rowdies to Host Norwich City U-23s

By Staff, 02/12/20, 12:03PM EST


Visit Tampa Bay Cup will see partner clubs square off for first time on July 1 at Al Lang Stadium

The Tampa Bay Rowdies will play host to Norwich City U23s in the Visit Tampa Bay Cup at Al Lang Stadium on July 1 at 7 p.m. ET | Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Rowdies

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies will host their first international exhibition since 2011 this summer when they take on Norwich City’s U23 side in the inaugural Visit Tampa Bay Cup at Al Lang Stadium. The contest, scheduled for Wednesday, July 1 at 7 p.m. ET, will serve as the first on-field meeting between the partner clubs.

The Rowdies and current Premier League side Norwich City formed an international partnership in January of last year following Norwich’s visit to the Tampa Bay area for warm-weather training in November 2018. Since then, the Rowdies have acquired two players on loan from Norwich City’s U23s – Caleb Richards in 2019 and Louis Lomas in 2020.

The clubs also worked together last summer to put on the Yellow & Green Dream camp, giving youth soccer players in Tampa Bay the chance to train with coaches from both clubs. The Yellow & Green Dream camp will return this summer.

Caleb Richards was a mainstay for the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the 2019 USL Championship season while on loan from Norwich City FC. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies

“The partnership between the Rowdies and Norwich City is something really unique and something that is continuing to grow stronger with each endeavor we work on together,” said Rowdies President Lee Cohen said. “In the 12 months since we officially formed our partnership, we’ve spent time visiting and learning from one another, we’ve co-run the Yellow & Green Dream Camp and now the Rowdies are hosting Norwich’s U23s in July for a preseason camp that will be capped off with the first Visit Tampa Bay Cup match! We look forward to continuing the development of this partnership for many years to come.”

2020 Tampa Bay Rowdies season ticket holders will receive free admission to the Visit Tampa Bay Cup. Tickets will be made available for purchase by non-season ticket holders in the future. More information will be made available at a later date.

This will be the Rowdies’ first international exhibition since the visit of then-Premier League side Bolton Wanderers to Al Lang Stadium in July of 2011.

“As a club, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to Tampa Bay in the summer for our academy tour,” said Sam Jeffery, Norwich City’s Head of Commercial Operations. “The partnership has grown from strength-to-strength over the last few years, and we feel really lucky that Santiago Corrada and Patrick Harrison, of Visit Tampa Bay, match our pioneering spirit in aiming to create a legacy that lasts a long time.

“We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved with these guys so far, and when the teams walk out at the Visit Tampa Bay Cup it’ll be a moment in time that’s been years in the making. Long may this relationship continue to thrive.”

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