The Sun (Schedule) Is Out, Let’s Go!

We at RBLR Sports strive to cover every professional team in the Tampa Bay area. This requires dedicated spaces for each of those teams and time given to each of them on their own. In covering women’s soccer, it is often the case that commentators will give clubs or even national teams secondary placement. That will not be the case for RBLR Sun. Dedicated podcast time and writing space will be given to the Tampa Bay Sun, such as they demand as a professional sports team all their own. Those articles will be forthcoming alongside the podcasts that have already begun here. 

This article, though, will cover the Sun in relation to the other soccer club in Tampa Bay, the Rowdies. Many people who are fans of one will also be fans of the other. To that end, there should be at least one column which tells people how their schedules overlap. If someone should choose to only follow one or the other, our podcast platforms are perfect for them. But, those of us at RBLR assume – and hope – that there will be overlap, as all soccer fans can and should make time for both.

Now that the first half of the schedule for the Tampa Bay Sun is up, we can let our minds drift to that day on the near horizon when professional women’s soccer starts up in our region. The very first game for the Sun will be Sunday August 18th at home vs. Dallas Trinity. All our hope and effort will be put into helping the club sell out that first game at Riverfront Stadium on the campus of Blake High School. Undergoing renovations to bring it up to gameday standard, the stadium is conveniently located on the Hillsborough River, only a short water taxi ride away from Downtown Tampa and Armature Works. Make sure you get there!

That match on Sunday will follow a Saturday night home game for the Rowdies. No overlap to worry about yet, so no excuses will be accepted! The following Saturday on August 24th, though, will provide some issues. The times for Tampa Bay Sun games have not been put out yet. Fans are likely aware all Rowdies matches at home start at 7:30pm. We at RBLR Sports will make sure to have people on the ground for each game to provide our own coverage of each fixture as it happens. 

The following weekend, each team is away from home. However, Saturday September 14th provides another gameday overlap for fans to wade through. Once kickoff times are listed, this columnist will be looking for any chance to take in two matches in one day. Unfortunately, that isn’t something we can plan for today. The final weekend in September includes away fixtures for each club before October’s busy slate begins. 

After another weekend when both clubs are out of town, Saturday October 12th doesn’t require fans make any decision at all, as the Tampa Bay Sun will host Fort Lauderdale United and the Rowdies travel to Louisville, Kentucky. Fort Lauderdale being the other team in this league from Florida naturally means there will be some mostly friendly animosity between the clubs. Derby games have to develop organically; but, the case for statewide supremacy will be a quick trigger for fans. Accounts online have already begun with the banter, mostly focusing on the south Floridians’ badge that seems to pronounce their team “flooted.”

The Sun will then take a break for a week before returning to action on the last weekend in October. They will be out of town for a game Sunday October 27th, one night after the Rowdies host Indy Eleven at St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Stadium. The playoffs will begin in the USL Championship after that, which means we do not have all the potential overlap in weekend scheduling at the time of writing. However, it should be noted that the Sun have home games on Saturday November 2nd, Saturday November 16th, and Saturday December 14th. Following that, a midseason break for winter will occur in the USL Super League. It’s a very exciting time for fans of soccer in America. Beyond all the major international tournaments lined up for the next couple of years, teams are popping up in many new locales that previously did not have one to follow. In the Tampa Bay area, we are blessed to have clubs on the men’s and women’s sides of the game. If you, like us at RBLR Sports, are ready to open your heart to both of them, make sure you do so by attending every match you can and supporting them everywhere you go. Supplement your closet of Green and Gold with some Blue and Gold – or vice versa! We’ll be your hub of coverage for both, and we’ll be shouting, chanting, and singing all the way!

A quick guide to the overlap in schedule is below:

Saturday August 17: Rowdies vs. Loudoun United at Al Lang Stadium

Sunday August 18: Sun vs. Dallas Trinity at Riverfront Stadium (home and season opener)

Saturday August 24: Sun vs. DC Power at Riverfront Stadium/Rowdies vs. The Miami at Al Lang Stadium

Saturday September 14: Sun vs. Brooklyn FC at Riverfront Stadium/Rowdies vs. Pittsburgh at Al Lang Stadium

Saturday October 12: Sun vs. Fort Lauderdale United at Riverfront Stadium/Rowdies away to Louisville City at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky

Saturday October 26: Rowdies vs. Indy Eleven at Al Lang Stadium

Sunday October 27: Sun away to Spokane Zephyr at One Spokane Stadium in Spokane, Washington