Tampa Bay Rowdies return to practice with an eye on games, safety

The Rowdies have been called back to the pitch in St. Pete for controlled and limited practices.

They're practicing in groups of four. It's a start, but it brings relief to Forrest Lasso, who's been isolated from his team for two months. 

"Pretty relieved," Lasso told FOX 13 Sports. "As soccer players, we love what we do. When you take soccer away from us, it's our everything. It's our life. We live for it. Obviously there's a lot going on right now. There's a lot more things that are important you can say than playing soccer. People's job are at risk. People's lives are at risk. There's a lot more going on, but for us personally, we are just happy to get back to some kind of normalcy."

Just to practice, players have strict guidelines to follow.

"There's 6-feet distancing rules," said Lasso. "There's no physical contact, being responsible. You have to have your temperature checked. You have to keep on your required layers, protective gear. You're not sharing water. You're not sharing anything. Things are a lot more different than things in the past. It's all responsibility stuff. It's taking the necessary actions to be safe."

Germany was the first major European league to resume over the weekend and it's a sign that soccer, like NASCAR and the PGA, are finding ways to resume.

"It's a massive, massive step for soccer, for all sports, for humanity," said Lasso. "As you see normalcy progress back into society, it gives a lot of people hope. It gives some, maybe the desired to keep taking those extra steps that they need to stay safe and keep their community safe."

What has Lasso missed the most so far?

"I'm one for banter," said Lasso. "I love cracking jokes. When it comes to the game, I'm super serious. I'm going to go right through you because I want to win. Besides that, I love the camaraderie and banter we have in the dressing room with our staff, with our coaches. I love my teammates. We love what we do and I love what we do together. I'm a jokester. I miss picking on people and having some fun with it, but that time will come soon. So I'm not too worried about it."

Lasso says he's always been a patient person as well, but does he believe he will be playing games this year?

"I hope so," smiled Lasso. "I'm an optimist through and through. I think so. I think everything works out for and reason and I think soccer is in the near future."