U.S. Open Cup rematch Saturday as Tropics host The Villages SC at Bryant Stadium

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla – After picking up their first win of the season last weekend in Weston, the Lakeland Tropics will return to Bryant Stadium Saturday night to host The Villages SC in what will be a rematch of a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game earlier this month.

The two USL League Two foes were paired against each other on May 7 at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, with the Buffalo finally taking the win in the 10th round of penalties after the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie during 90 minutes of regulation and an additional 30 minutes of overtime.

The Tropics defeated Weston FC, 3-0, to improve to 1-0-1 on the young season last weekend, while the Buffalo come in with a mark of 1-1, with their most game a 2-1 win over newcomers Sarasota Metropolis FC. They opened the year with a 2-1 loss against Florida Elite SA. 

The two teams have played four times during the last two regular seasons, with the Tropics holding a 2-1-1 edge. The two teams tied for second in the USL League Two southern division standings last season, but The Villages SC advanced to the post-season on a tiebreaker, advancing all the way to the national Final Four before falling.

Saturday's game will be streamed live at www.mycujoo.tv. Kickoff at Bryant Stadium is at 7 p.m. For tickets, or more information, call 863-240-0101, or visit www.lakelandtropics.com.

The Tropics soccer club currently fields two outdoor teams in the summer months, with the goal of creating a larger talent pool for the club's hoped-for move up to the Division III level in the coming seasons. Tropics SC plays at Lake Myrtle in Auburndale in the UPSL, while the Lakeland Tropics are now in their third season of play at historic Bryant Stadium in USL League Two.