Here come the playoffs! Tropics will play St. Louis Friday in Missouri, in Lakeland Sunday

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Florida -- The Florida Tropics will have a familiar foe when they open the 2021-22 Major Arena Soccer League playoffs Friday night.

Florida will be meeting the St. Louis Ambush in the MASL quatterfinals, with game on in St. Louis on Friday, April 8 in an 8:35 p.m. EDT start before returning home for its first-ever playoff game at the RP Funding Center on Sunday, April 10 starting at 3:05. Both games will be streamed live on Twitch, the MASL's new broadcasting platform.

Friday's game will mark the 20th time the two franchises will have played each other, the most times the Tropics have played any team in the league. Overall, Florida's record against their midwestern rivals is 12-7, including 9-2 at home but just 3-5 in St. Louis. 

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors Bond Clinic and Advent Health, fans get free tickets to Sunday's home game as part of the season-long "Tropics Blitz" promotion. Those who don't have tickets to the game can play $20 to park, and then take their parking receipt to the RP Funding box office to exchange that for the same number of tickets to the game as there are passengers in the vehicle. 

"We've worked extremely hard to get to this point, and earn home field advantage, so we need fans to really step up themsevles now and come support the guys," Head Coach Clay Roberts said. "If you've told yourself over the last six years you should really get to a Tropics game, Sunday is the day. We'll be counting on a sixth man like never before."

As further incentive for fans, the first 250 arriving Sunday will receive free Tropics t-shirts. Doors at the RP Funding Center will open at 2 pm. 

Should the two teams split the Friday and Sunday games, a 15-minute "mini game" will be played immediately at the conclusion on Sunday's Game Two, with the winner of that mini game moving on to the semi-finals, where the Tropics would again be able to play game two at home thanks to being the No. 2 overall playoff seed following an 18-3-2 regular season.

The Tropics home finale April 3 was cancelled because Baltimore was unable to make travel arrangments after many flights were cancelled over the weekend due to severe weather both in Florida and elsewhere. 

It did provide the team a chance to rest, however, since it had been on the road for more than a week, playing four games in that span including two on the west coast. 

For more playoff game information during the week, visit the team's social media platforms including Facebook HERE. Twitter  HERE, and  Instagram HERE.