The Tampa Bay Rowdies will open the 2017 United Soccer League season at home on Saturday, March 25 against Orlando City B at Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg. USL announced today all 2017 home openers, which will be highlighted by the Rowdies match against Orlando. This will be the first renewal of the I-4 derby since 2014, when Orlando City SC played in USL and Tampa Bay in NASL. Orlando leads the overall series 6-0-0 (W-D-L). The Lions “A” team now plays in MLS but the “B” team features many exciting prospects and locally developed players.
As far as rivalries go, this is the most intense in the state of Florida, with both sets of fans taking the matchups extremely seriously. Orlando’s B team has never faced in-state opposition but Orlando’s A team is 9-0-2 overall against opposition from the state of Florida, and in competitive matches is 3-0-1, the lone loss coming last year in the 5th Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup against Fort Lauderdale at Camping World Stadium.