ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Wednesday the club had signed midfielder Leo Fernandes and defender Hunter Gorskie to new contracts for the 2018 USL season. The signings are pending league and federation approval, and per club policy, further contract details were not disclosed.
“We saw some really exciting things from Leo last season before his injury and Hunter obviously played really well for us down the stretch,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “Both players work extremely hard in training and set a good example for the players around them, so we’re delighted to see what they can do in 2018.”
Gorskie was a mid-season addition to the Rowdies’ back line in the 2017 season, and had a positive impact at both ends of the field as the club finished third in the USL’s Eastern Conference. Gorskie made 10 appearances and scored three goals in addition to helping the Rowdies to a 4-1-3 record in the final eight games of the regular season before the side fell in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs.
Fernandes made 11 appearances for the Rowdies in a season that was hit by an MCL injury midway through the year. A former player for the Philadelphia Union, Fernandes helped Penn FC reach the 2014 USL Cup while on loan with the club. The 26-year-old also spent time on loan previously with the New York Cosmos.
“Coming off a successful 2017 season, we felt in order for us to put a dominant team on the pitch next season, it was important to bring back several key players of the 2017 season,” said Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards. “This adds to an important list of already signed players, as we continue to work on strengthening the squad for next year. We believe this team to be even more exciting for fans to watch than it was during the 2017 record-breaking season.”