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    Rowdies’ Yates finding his feet at next level

    After training with D.C. United prior to joining the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies in mid-April, midfielder Drew Yates received a bit of a culture shock when he got into his first few training sessions in Tampa.

    “I told (Rowdies coach) Paul (Dalglish) when I came down here that training at D.C. was pretty lackluster, especially compared to this,” Yates said. “It wasn’t really that intense, it was short and I came down here and we had two-hour practices and the intensity was 100 percent all the time. It took me a while to get used to, especially in this heat.”

    Yates has started to find more playing time off the bench lately, though, and he appears to be making the transition from high-level college player to professional that can be tricky for some rookies.

    “I feel like when I came I was a little shell-shocked,” Yates said. “The tempo of play, the skill of every player, it’s the next level coming from college. I feel like I’m getting more used to that, I’m getting more comfortable. With me it’s definitely about being comfortable with my teammates, being comfortable on the field and I definitely I feel like I’ve been getting better and I’m just hoping to keep on progressing and just get in Paul’s favor and hopefully eventually I’ll be able to start.”

    LAMARRE RETURNS: Phil Lamarre’s loan spell with Miami FC ended after the Blues’ game on Wednesday night against Crystal Palace Baltimore, and the young goalkeeper was glad to have gotten the experience to continue to learn in his first professional season.

    “It was a good experience,” Lamarre said. “I got to get on the game squad, I got to travel to Montreal, Puerto Rico, Minnesota and watch the games.”

    NEWS AND NOTES: The Rowdies will unveil their “Rowdies Safe Ride” program on Saturday that will shuttle fans between MacDinton’s on South Howard and Steinbrenner Field and then back after the game against Montreal, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Shuttles are available to all ticket holders, and will leave from MacDinton’s at 5:30 p.m. at 6:15 p.m. … Tickets for Saturday night’s game will be on sale at MacDinton’s today and on Saturday in addition to regular outlets.

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