Tropics, Conquistadores will battle for UPSL Florida West division crown in playoff game Saturday

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Florida Tropics will hope to take a second step in the United Premier Soccer League playoffs tonight when they host the PSE Conquistadores in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale.

The Tropics are coming off a tough 2-1 win over Florida Premier FC, while the Conquistadores upset the  Florida West division regular season champion St. Petersburg Aztecs, 4-3 last weekend.

The two teams split two regular season games, with PSE coming up with a 1-0 home win in April, and the Tropics coming back with a dominating 7-0 triumph earlier this month. In that game, the Conquistadores lost one of their best forwards to a red card just 15 minutes into the game, and Florida was able to repeatedly take advantage.

Forward Ariel Gonzalez had the hat trick, while Nico Riveros, Victor Parrieras, Jullian Hall and Sami Sepulveda all added singletons as the Tropics raced to a 3-0 halftime lead and poured it on in the second half. 

Saturday’s winner will take on the Florida Central champion CFL GOSA Spurs who defeated the Orlando City U23 Academy team in penalty kicks Friday night The teams battled to a scoreless tie during regulation and overtime time, but the Spurs dominated the PK’s, converting four to take the win.

That game in the UPSL’s Round of 32 will be played the weekend of July 10 and 11 on a date, time and site to be determined. The national finals weekend will be Aug. 6 and 8.

The Spurs finished their 10-game regular season at 5-3-2, good for fourth place in the Central, but they upset the only UPSL Florida team without at least one loss on its ledger this season when they took down OFC Barca in the opening round of the playoffs, 4-3.

Florida is the defending UPSL Spring champions, having won its first ever national title in 2019 when it rolled to an 18-0-0 mark, a team that included Major Arena Soccer League stars Victor Parreiras and Lucas Montelares, who are also part of this year’s outdoor Tropics. There was no UPSL Spring 2020 season because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Admission to the game for fans is free; parking is $10 for single-occupant vehicles and $20 for multi-occupant vehicles.