The Tampa Bay Rowdies added a dynamic attacker to the roster mix on Tuesday with the addition of Zak Boggs. Per league and club policy, contract details were not disclosed.
In Boggs, the Rowdies bring home another Bay Area native with a tremendous resume. After playing high school soccer at IMG Academy, Boggs played one season each at West Virginia and the University of Central Florida before playing his final two collegiate seasons at the University of South Florida.
“I went to high school down in Bradenton and played a few years at USF,” Boggs said. “I love the Tampa Bay area. It’s an awesome place and I’m so excited to play for my hometown team. Coach Rongen is real high energy and he’s got a big, great personality. It rubs off on everyone, all the players. It’s been great.”
Boggs turned professional in 2010 when Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution drafted him in the second round, 31st overall. During his third season with the Revs, Boggs accepted a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study medical sciences at Leicester University in the UK. Boggs returned to soccer last year with the USL’s Charlotte Eagles.
Boggs, 28, is an attack-minded player capable of playing in the midfield or as a forward.
“Zak is a tremendous signing for the Rowdies,” Head Coach Thomas Rongen said. “He’s creative on the field with great vision and he’s very versatile, capable of playing a number of positions. He brings valuable playing experience to our team and is a good addition to our locker room and culture.”
While with the Revolution from 2010-2012, Boggs spent much of his free time studying pediatric cancer at a children’s hospital in Boston. He received the 2011 MLS Humanitarian of the Year award for his charitable work off the field. On the field, Boggs played 1,758 minutes for the Revolution before leaving for England.
He joined the Rowdies on trial early in February after an impressive showing at the club’s invite-only combine from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. Boggs played in Tampa Bay’s matches against the Philadelphia Union and Malmö FF. He will wear the #33 jersey this season.
The Rowdies will open the 2015 season against the San Antonio Scorpions, the 2014 Soccer Bowl Champions, in San Antonio on April 4. The home opener follows on April 11 against Minnesota United FC, the team with the best overall 2014 record and the defending Spring champion.