From: Rowdies/Latest News
April 19th, 2016
HEINEMANN: "It's always fun when the team gets goals"
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 19, 2016) — The old soccer cliché dictates that when a forward joins a new club, no goal is harder to score than the first.
The good news for Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Tommy Heinemann is that that first goal is now in the books.
In the 73rd minute of Saturday night’s match against FC Edmonton, Heinemann was on the receiving end of an inch-perfect cross from Eric Avila to thunder home a header from seven yards. As Avila received a throw-in from Darnell King, Heinemann was near the penalty spot reading the play. When Avila turned to lose his defender and make space for a cross, Heinemann drifted away from his marker, Papé Diakité, but not so far as to bring Albert Watson into the play.
The goal happened so quickly and Heinemann’s header was so well placed, FC Edmonton’s veteran goalkeeper Matt VanOekel could only stand in place watching it cross the line.
Heinemann’s first goal in green and gold was in the back of the net. Sigh of relief.
“There’s always pressure as a striker to score goals,” Heinemann said. “Coming here, it’s important that I try to help the team in that way, so to get off the mark is always important. Even more than being my first goal, it was our first goal from the run of play. It was our first win. It was our first three points. All those factors played into our joy on Saturday night.”
Heinemann’s celebration was simple. He ran to the corner flag, let out a guttural roar and flexed. His teammates soon piled onto his back.
“For me, it’s always fun when the team gets goals,” he said. “It’s like a party with the squad because that’s what this is all about. … For me to able to celebrate with the guys is something I relish.”
Now, just three games into the season, Heinemann and the Rowdies are ready for the next challenge, turning one goal into a series. They’ll get their next chance Saturday night when the red hot Carolina RailHawks come calling at Al Lang Stadium. Through three rounds, Carolina is yet to drop a point, recording wins over Minnesota United FC, Rayo OKC and Ottawa Fury FC.
“It’s a game that we’re really looking forward to. We know Carolina is very, very talented going forward and they’ve been very steady at the back this year. They’ve obviously won all three of their games, so it’s one of those matchups where we’re looking forward to them coming into our house. Hopefully we give them a good test on Saturday.”
Saturday’s showdown at Al Lang features two of the three remaining unbeaten teams and will be televised nationally on beIN Sports HD and locally on Bright House Sports Network. Tickets are still available by calling (727) 222-2000 or by clicking here.