Game on! Local rivalry set to take flight as Tropics host Winter Haven United FC Saturday

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE, Fla. –  Let the rivalry begin.

The Florida Tropics SC, Presented by Bond Clinic, will host Winter Haven United FC for the first time ever in United Premier Soccer league regular-season action Saturday at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

The Tropics come in still at 1-0 after having their home opener last Sunday against Huracan FC rained out. United is 1-1, opening two weeks ago with a 5-0 win over Huracan, before falling 2-1 to the St. Petersburg Aztecs last Sunday in Winter Haven.

“We’ve looked forward to this matchup for a long time. We know Winter Haven United is a very improved side this fall, and know they will be aiming for us, so getting the result we want won’t be easy,” Tropics head coach Lucas Teixeira said. “It’s great for Polk County fans to have two very high caliber teams going at it against each other and we anticipate an exciting and fun night of soccer.”

Florida got 21 minutes of play in before heavy storms rolled into the Auburndale area last Sunday to force postponement of the match. Neither team had scored, although the Tropics hit two goal posts and dominated most of the possession time before play was halted.

Admission to Saturday’s game is free. There is a $10 parking fee for single occupant vehicles and $20 for multi-occupant vehicles.

This is the second of five consecutive home matches for the Tropics, who will host Dragon City FC on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at Lake Myrtle. For fans unable to support their side in person, all games are streamed live on the Tropics Youtube channel.

The Tropics will play a 12-game fall season and are the defending 2019 Spring UPSL national champions. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the UPSL did not play a spring season this year. Florida will also start its fifth season playing indoors in the Major Arena Soccer League this winter at the RP Funding Center.