Rowdies and Norwich City team up to grow soccer in the Tampa Bay area

While the World Cup puts the international soccer season on hold, lots of clubs are taking advantage of the break and taking their training elsewhere. 

For England's Norwich City FC, they chose the Tampa Bay area as its home away from home for the next week. Now, players from Norwich City are joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies to help grow the game locally. 

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Dozens of young soccer players got the chance to dawn the Rowdies' colors and learn from the professionals at their "Yellow and Green" youth camp Tuesday night. Norwich City players from England got to join and see some of the young athletes. 

"It's amazing for them to get that experience and that environment of being a professional soccer player," said Rowdies defender Aaron Guillen. 

The Canaries, as Norwich City's team is known, can't help but admire how the beautiful game is blossoming across the pond. 

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"It's special, and it's really good to see girls and boys here as well," said Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell. "Because the sport is growing. It's growing on both sides, and it's really nice to come over here and see that it is here, as well." 

Norwich are also represented in the World Cup by United States national player Josh Sargeant. 

Fellow American and Norwich defender Jonathan Tompkinson knows full well what seeing professionals playing at the highest level means to those kids in attendance. 

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"It just shows that there's a pathway," explained Tomkinson. "I'm not the only one that can do it. They can all definitely do it. I'm not the first, and I definitely won't be the last." 

It's a pathway that shows the younger generation that playing abroad, potentially in the World Cup, isn't beyond their reach. 

"It's kind of like a movement," said Tompkinson. "Everyone is getting behind the USA in the World Cup, and it's exciting to see." 

Norwich will be training at the Rowdies' Al Lang Stadium for the rest of the week and even have a session open to fans on Friday morning.