The Lakeland Tropics first-ever win in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will have to wait at least one more year
One of the world’s longest continually operated soccer tournament stopped in Polk County, Floridafor the first time in history last night and Chris Pamatian was at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex with My8one3, as the Lakeland Tropics hosted The Villages SC in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday Night.
The Villages SC scored in the 10th round of penalty kicks to take the win, after the teams battled to a 1-1 tie through 90 minutes of regulation time, and another 30 minutes of scoreless overtime. The Buffalo will move on to round two to meet the Tampa Bay Rowdies on May 14. The two sides traded first half goals, entertaining a Lake Myrtle Sports Complex crowd of 2,076, with The Villages Danilo Suarez Seglio scoring in the 16th minute with Raheem Taylor- Parkes getting the equalizer in the 37th minutes.
The Tropics controlled much of the possession time, and actually had two goals called back on offsides. Lakeland also dominated in corner kicks, taking 18 to The Villages SC four, but never could get the winner off any of the set piece chances.
The Tropics also played without offensive star Ricardo Diegues – who led their sister franchise the Florida Tropics of the Major Arena Soccer League this past season in goal. He was out with an ankle injury.
The Tropics were making their second straight Cup appearance, and first at home. Last season, they traveled to Texas, falling 3-0 to Midland-Odessa. The Buffalo were appearing in their fourth straight Cup came, and are now 2-2 on those games.
Lakeland will open its USL League Two regular season – they will meet The Villages SC twice later this spring – when they host Daytona SC Saturday night, May 11 at Bryant Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. For more information, including tickets, go to www.lakelandtropics.com, or call 863-605-4131.
Lakeland Tropics / Member USL League Two
1125 Bartow Road / Suite 302 / Lakeland, FL 33801
Phone/Tickets: (863) 240-0101 / www.lakelandtropics.com