It's a good day to be a Tampa Bay Rowdies fan. On Monday, the club made one of the worst kept secrets in the North American Soccer League official, that they had signed former Ottawa Fury star Tom Heinemann. On Tuesday, reports emerged that the club had also reached an agreement with summer signing Freddy Adu on a new contract.
Tampa put together a strong core last year, anchored by one of the more talented defensive units in the league. That foundation nearly led the club to a spring season title, and came within a reuslt on the final day of the season from seeing the Rowdies make the NASL playoffs.
That side lacked an elite finisher, however, often failing to capitalize on the chances that they created. With that in mind, the signing of Heinemann could be one of the best of the offseason, as the big forward was often isolated in Ottawa, who played a style which would suit the current Rowdies squad very well. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...right?
Meanwhile, Adu was the big name summer signing that was meant to push the Rowdies over the hump from a playoff hopeful, to a title contender. The former USMNT player did a nice job during his time with the club when healthy, and it's no surprise that the club opted to bring him back, especially as they had a club option to do so. If he can stay healthy this season, it will be very interesting to see how he does.