Hard work, not superstition, pushes Rowdies through winning streak

The Rowdies are on one of the franchise's best runs ever.

Two months into their schedule and there's still a zero in the loss column (5-0-5).

"We're off to a good start," said Rowdies goalie John McCarthy. "We have a good group of guys, a good coaching staff. Everyone has bought in. You can't ask much more than a good start."

Teams have tendencies to try to keep doing what they are doing to avoid snapping streaks. Sometimes it's sticking to routines or even superstitions. But the Rowdies insist they aren't doing anything to conjure up some extra luck.

"I've got a little Irish in me," laughed McCarthy. "But I've got none of that [lucky charm]."

Rowdies forward Juan Tejada refused to cut his hair until he signed a pro contract. He never cut it and now that they're undefeated he has a new reason to keep his long, curly locks. 

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"Well, that could be my superstition," laughed Tejada. "It's just part of me right now and I don't see it getting short."

As a player, head coach Neill Collins was very superstitious. In fact, he played his entire career with the same shin guard, nearly 600 games. But as the head coach of the unbeaten Rowdies, there is only one routine that he's following: 

"Hard work," said Collins. "Honestly there was one player that once said, 'The harder you work, the luckier you get.' That is the mantra that we've been trying to force home. There's not any extra superstitions. It's all just, 'Let's get better.'"

Hard work and a smothering defense has led this team to an unbeaten start. In 10 games, the Rowdies have allowed a meager four goals to opposing teams.

"We are working very hard to keep it that way for the season," said Tejada. "But we are taking it game by game and working very hard for it."