UPSL outdoor Tropics side going for third straight win Saturday in hosting Azzurri Storm

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- The United Premier Soccer League Florida Tropics -- winners of a national outdoor soccer title in 2019 and who advanced to the National Final Four last season -- will look to extend its winning streak to three games when they host the Azzurri Storm on Saturday night.

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale. The game will be broadcast live on Eleven Sports.

The Tropics are coming off an impressive 5-2 win over Florida Premier FC last weekend in Auburndale, the first of four straight home games, and five of their last six at home, to conclude the regular season.

Florida's  speedy and talented front line -- all with Polk County connections -- were too much for Florida Premier to overcome.

Florida Southern's Jack Meehan opened the scoring, and Mulberry High School's Chandler Crawshaw -- who earlier this season became only the third ever player in Polk County high school soccer history to score more than 100 goals in his career -- made it 2-0 midway through the first.

Florida Premier caught the Tropics a little flat footed late in the half, getting two goals in the final five minutes of play, but Florida continued its overall dominance in the second half, getting a pair of goals from Southeastern University's Jake Van Der Luit and a final goal from long-time Tropics outdoor star Melvin Boetang for the 5-2 final.

Crawshaw, Van Der Luit and Meehan all have three goals on the season to lead the offense, as the Tropics are 2--1-1 after opening the season with three straight road games. 

Leg A-Z International, who will meet the Tropics in Auburndale in a key division showdown on May 21, leads the UPSL's Premier Florida West standings with a mark of 4-1-0 are trailed by St. Petersburg Aztecs (2-0-1, seven points), Lakeland United (2-1-1, seven points),  and the Tropics as all three teams have seven points. That group is followed in the eight-team division by Florida Premier (2-1-0, six points), Naples City FC (1-2-0, three points), Clearwater Chargers (1-4-0, three points), and the Naples based Azzuri Storm (0-4-1, one point).

The Tropics will be home again May 15 to take on Naples City FC in a 6 p.m. start before the May 21 showdown against Leg A-Z International.