Collins was named the head coach on Friday, replacing Stuart Campbell, who was fired a day after the Rowdies fell to their former NASL rival, the Jacksonville Armada, 1-0, in the Open Cup. They had also lost five straight games on the road in the USL.
Former England international Joe Cole scored on a free kick in the 59th minute to earn Tampa Bay a point.
“Those lads tonight tried to do everything I asked,” said the 34-year-old Collins, who holds a UEFA A Coaching License. “At times, it worked. At times, it didn’t, but the most important thing is that they were trying to implement specific things I asked."
The Rowdies' first goal was scored by Lance Rozeboom less than three minutes into the game off a corner kick.
“Neill made it a point, especially in the first few minutes, to play quick off the corners and Marcel [Schaefer] and Alex [Morrell] played quick,” Rozeboom said. “Alex got it in and I just tried to flick it on."
May 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tampa Bay 2 Pittsburgh 2. Goals: Rozeboom 4, Cole 59; own goal 20, Parkes 30.
Tampa Bay -- Fitzgerald; Lachowecki, Gorskie, Magalhaes, Portillos; Rozeboom, Cole (Nanchoff 72), Schaefer; Morrell (Flemmings 61), Hristov (Graf 76), Guenzatti.
Pittsburgh -- Lynd; Partner, Roberts, Vancaeyezeele; Dover, Lee, Zemanski (Adewole 80), Forbes, Francois; Kerr (Holland 81), Parkes (Brett 80).