Big win over Naples FC sets up Saturday showdown between Tropics and St. Pete Aztecs

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- Suddenly, Saturday's showdown between the Florida Tropics and St. Petersburg Aztecs has become a lot more significant.

That's because the Tropics 5-1 win over Naples FC Saturday night -- coupled with the PSE Conquistadores defeating the Aztecs 3-1 -- means the Tropics will head into next weekend's contest three-points up on St. Petersburg. However, the Aztecs have played two less games than Florida for the 2021 Spring United Premier Soccer League regular season.

The two teams played to a 2-2 tie earlier this spring at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex, with the Aztecs rallying for two goals in the final 10 minutes of play. 

Saturday's win over Naples featured five different goal scorers for Florida, including a 14th of the year from Will Eyang, who was tied for third in the UPSL nationally for goal scoring going into the weekend. 

Also finding the back of the net were Sam Lira, Alejandro Gonzaels , Jack Miller and Julian Hall as the Tropics improved to 7-2-1 on the year, good for 22 points. The Aztecs, and 6-1-1, are in second with 19 points and the PSE Conquistafdres lurking in third at 5-2-2 with 17 points. 

Although Victor Parreiras did not score , the leading scorer in the history of the Tropics Major Arena Soccer League club contributed with three assists. 

After Saturday's showdown in St. Pete's, the Tropics will conclude their regular season with a June 12 home date against the Conquistadores. The Aztecs have two games left with Florida Premier FC after this coming weekend, and also need to make up a game against the Conquistadores that was postponed from its original May 19 date. 

The Tropics would clinch a regular season Florida West division title with a win in each of its last two games. Even with a loss Saturday, St. Pete could also still finish with 28 points -- what the Tropics would finish at with two more wins -- but would hold the tiebreaker over the Aztecs by winning this weekend.

Saturday's road game starts at 7 p.m. at the Belcher Road Sports Complex in Largo. Keep tuned to the Tropics social media platforms for game information during the week.