Tropics will open 14 game USL League Two schedule May 11 at Bryant Stadium

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla – The Lakeland Tropics have new opponents, and a new league name, but are hoping for the same or better results in 2019.

The United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL) has been rebranded as USL League Two for the coming campaign. The Tropics, who are one of 84 clubs in the country to be invited to the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, will once again compete in the eight team Southeastern Division.

Several franchises are new to the division this year, including Daytona SC, Florida Elite SA (Jacksonville), Sarasota and the Treasure Coast Tritons (Port St. Lucie). Rivals The Villages SC and Miami City FC return. 

The Tropics 14-game schedule kicks off Saturday, May 11 – just days after the team's opening-round game in the U.S. Open Cup – when they host Daytona in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Stadium. Six of the Tropics seven home games are on Saturday night, with one Friday night kickoff as well. The complete schedule is below.

The Tropics have finished third in each of their first two seasons in the league, last year with a 9-2-3 mark. Eoghan Conlan will return for his third year as head coach.

This is the 25th anniversary season of the league. A part of United Soccer Leagues, LLC, which also operates USL Championship, the new USL League One and Super Y League, USL League Two offers a summer platform for aspiring professionals across the United States and Canada.

More than 70 percent of all MLS SuperDraft selections since 2010 have USL League Two experience, including a total of 61 alumni chosen in 2019. Among the many players to have competed in USL League Two before making their professional debuts include Werder Bremen's Josh Sargent, Newcastle United FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes.

Saturday, May 11    vs. Daytona SC, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 18    at Weston FC, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 25    vs. The Villages SC, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 1    vs FC Miami City, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 4    at Florida Elite SA, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 8    vs. Treasure Coast Tritons, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 15    vs. Weston FC, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 18    at Miami City FC, 3 p.m.

Saturday, June 22    vs. Sarasota, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 25    at Daytona SC, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 29     at The Villages SC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 6    at Treasure Coast Tritons, 7 p.m.

Weds., July 10    at Sarasota, 7 p.m.

Friday, July 12    vs. Florida Elite SA, 7 p.m.