Tropics hope third time is a charm when they travel to meet The Villages SC Saturday

by Brian Ackley

THE VILLAGES -- The Lakeland Tropics are hoping that three times will be the charm as they travel north to meet The Villages SC in a USL League Two showdown Saturday at 6 p.m.

This will be the third meeting of the year between the two teams, which includes the epic May 7 U.S. Open Cup game at Lake Myrtle Complex in Auburndale when the Buffalo and Tropics went to 10 PK's before The Villages got the win. Raheem Taylor-Parks (Tropics) and Daniel Suarez (Buffalo) swapped first half goals for the only scores in regulation and overtime.

The two teams tangles in a regular season USL League Two matchup later in May at Bryant Stadium, with the final a 1-1 tie. This time, the teams swapped second half goals from Kaz Kimura (Tropics) and Saulo Da Silva (Buffalo).

The Villages enter play atop the division table at 6-1-3 (21 points) while Lakeland is 3-5-2 (11 points), good for seventh overall.

The game will be streamed live at This is the second of four straight on the road, with stops against the Treasure Coast Tritons (July 6) and Sarasota (July 9) before returning for the season finale against Florida Elite SA on Friday, July 12.