Photo courtesy Mark Thor / Orlando City SC
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Friday the return to the club of goalkeeper Cody Mizell, who signed for his second stint with the Rowdies after a pair of successful seasons with the Charlotte Independence. Per club and league policy, further contract details were not disclosed.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join one of the most iconic and historic clubs in US soccer,” said Mizell. “The Rowdies are a first-class organization that I am honored to be a part of again. The love and support I received from the fans and the community during my short time in St. Pete was unmatched. I look forward to working with and earning the respect of my new teammates and staff as we work together to bring a championship to the city.”
Mizell previously was part of the Rowdies in the 2014 season, where he served as a back-up to established veteran Matt Pickens and made five appearances for the club. Over the past two seasons, the former Clemson standout moved into a starting role with the Independence, and in the 2017 season made 32 appearances for Charlotte while registering 85 saves in the regular season, which placed him sixth in the USL.
The 26-year-old was also sent on a short-term loan to the Colorado Rapids early in the season, highlighting the progression in Mizell’s game since his arrival at the Independence.
“Cody has really matured into a great goalkeeper since we had him previously,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “His stats in Charlotte speak for themselves and he understands what the Rowdies mean to the Tampa Bay area. We’re going to have competition in training every day.”
Mizell joins returning goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald in the Rowdies’ squad, with Pickens having departed this offseason for new USL expansion side Nashville SC. The two appear likely to battle for the No. 1 spot as the Rowdies head into training camp.
“We have two very skilled goalkeepers in Cody and Akira,” said Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards. “We set a modern-era club record in 2017, posting 14 clean sheets, but we know we can’t rest on what we accomplished. Cody will be a great addition to this club as we look to build on 2017’s success.”