For those who thought that good ol’ Hank Stein had enrolled into the Steve Swindal and Joe Malloy Witness Protection Program…guess again! Seems as if the Son of Stein is getting his “kicks” another way these days. Via Ted Fleming:
Professional soccer returns to Tampa Bay in April when the Rowdies take the field in the North American Soccer League. The original NASL existed from 1975-1984 where the Rowdies won the league championship in their first season. In addition, the Tampa Bay franchise played in two more title games, 1978 and 1979.
The Rowdies returned in 1988 as part of the American Soccer League playing in the ASL until 1993 when the team folded. Now they are back a third tike in the revival of the NASL with the official team name FC Tampa Bay Rowdies.
One of the more recognizable names in the area is Hank Steinbrenner and he will be on the Board of Advisors for the team. He is the Senior Vice President and managing owner of the New York Yankees, resides in Tampa and grew up attending Tampa Bay Rowdies games.
The new league was formed last November and is comprised of the following active teams: Carolina RailHawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, Minnesota (whose name is to be determined), Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, AC St. Louis, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. For the 2010 season, the NASL’s nine teams, together with three teams (Austin Aztex, Portland Timbers and Puerto Rico Islanders) from the United Soccer Leagues, will play in a second division league established and administered by the United States Soccer Federation.
Below is a picture of Hank Steinbrenner as he was leaving the last Rowdies’ Board of Advisors meeting.