MASL Kicks Off 2020 Season on Friday
The Florida Tropics will kick off their fourth season in the Major Arena Soccer League Friday night when they take on the Orlando SeaWolves in a 7:35 kickoff at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.
Fans are excited to see how the “new look” Tropics will fare this year, after injuries devastated the roster last season and was responsible in large part for a disappointing 6-18 record. In the off-season, Florida signed 11 free agents – including two of the top 10 goal scorers in the MASL – and traded for the current league Rookie-of-the-Year Zach Reget.
One other huge difference this year is the team for the fist time ever trained exclusively on an indoor field in Orlando. Previous training camps had seen the club spend most of its practice time on on outside field since there is currently no indoor pitch in the greater Lakeland area.
“Training camp was excellent. Getting all the new faces acclimated to each other and to the Tropics way was a big challenge with so many new faces, but the guys all rose to the occasion, worked hard, and understand what we are trying to accomplish here,” Coach Clay Roberts said.
One of the top free agents in the league, Gordy Gurson, was one of the 11 signees. He played for Orlando last year, and in six games against the Tropics, scored 13 goals. The now Tropics forward scored 34 goals and added 24 assists, making him the fourth highest point getter in the MASL last season.
Also on board, and dressing for Friday’s game, is Ricardo Carvalho, who had 30 goals for the Harrisburg Heat last year, and Joey Tavernese, who scored 20 goals for Utica City FC last year. In all, eight players slated for Friday’s line up are new to the team.
A core of key returning players will dress as well, including the Tropics all-time active leading points getter, Victory Parreiras (44 goals, 31 assists), along with Antonio Manfut, Matt Clare, Lucas Teixeira, Lucas Montelares and Hugo Silva.
Two other returnees, Anthony Arico and Guilherme, will not dress, recovering from injuries which occurred in training recently. Free agents Rainer Hauss and Efrain “Wilo” Martinez are currently sidelined by a visa issue.
The two teams split six games last season, with each winning twice at home and once on the road. The teams finished the 2018-19 season at Silver Spurs Arena last April with the Tropics falling, 6-4. Florida and Orlando will play six times again this season as well.
The game will be broadcast live at www.masl.tv. The Tropics will stay on the road for their next two games – Dec. 5 in Orlando and Dec. 7 on the road against the defending MASL champion Milwaukee Wave – before returning to Lakeland for the home opener Dec. 14 against the SeaWolves.
The Tropics will play 24 games during the regular season which runs through the end of March.
For more information, including ticket plans still available for the entire 2019-20 season, visit www.fltropics.com or call 863-240-0101.
MOST RECENT – This is the first game of the 2019-20 season for both Orlando and Florida, who also met each other to close out the 2018-19 regular season at Silver Spurs Arena. Orlando took a 6-4 win to finish the year 9-15, while the Tropics fell to 6-18, prompting the massive off-season roster overhaul.
LAST TIME / ALL TIME – This is the second season for the SeaWolves in the MASL. The teams split six games in 2018-19, with Orlando and Florida winning twice at home and once on the road. In the six games for Orlando, Gordy Gurson, who signed with Florida in the off-season as a free agent, had 13 goals for the SeaWolves, including two in the season finale.
NEW FACES IN TROPICAL PLACES – The Tropics underwent a massive roster overhaul in the offseason, signing 11 free agents and trading for the reigning MASL Rookie of the Year Zack Reget. The new dozen combined for 150 goals last season, or 25 more than the entire Tropics 2018-19 season, led by 34 goals from Gordy Gurson (Orlando) and 30 from Ricardo Carvalho (Harrisburg). The new 12 have combined for xxx goals in xxx professional arena soccer games in their careers.
THE FAB FIVE – This is the Tropics fourth season in the Major Arena Soccer League, and they enter the 2019-20
season with just five original members from their inaugural opening roster: Victor Parreiras, Lucas Teixeira, Lucas
Montelares, Anthony Arico and J.P. Reyes. The Tropics stunned the MASL with a furious fourth-quarter rally in their
first ever game on Nov. 11, 2016, a 6-5 win over the San Diego Sockers. The club’s all-time leading scorer Ricardo Diegues – who signed as a free agent with Utica City FC this past summer – scored the game winner with 31 seconds remaining to erase a 4-1 deficit in the fourth.
VICTOR’S THE ONE – With the departure of Ricardo Diegues, Victor Parreiras is now the Tropics all time active leading scorer. In his three years here, Parreiras has 44 goals and 31 assists. He is coming off a great season in the United Premier Soccer League, leading the Tropics SC to a perfect 18-0-0 record and a national championship. He was named MVP of both the regular season and playoffs, including a game tying goal in stoppage time in the championship game which the Tropics won in PK’s. Lucas Montelares scored the game winner in overtime in the national semi-finals and the winning PK in the championship game. Diegues remains the Tropics all-time leading scorer with 69 goals and 29 assists. He signed
in the off-season as a free agent with Utica City FC.
ROOKIES ROCK – The Tropics not only traded for the reigning MASL Rookie of the Year Zach Reget this summer, they also signed Gordy Gurson who won the same honor in 2014- 15. In addition, goalkeeper Rainer Hauss was named to the MASL All Rookie team following the 2017-18 season.
BY THE NUMBERS – This year’s overhaul of the roster has brought some impressive talent to the Tropics. Including the 11 free agents and the trade for Reget, those 12 players have combined for 654 career goals and 472 assists (1,126 total points). If you include just the six forwards and midfielders new to the roster, they represent 599 career goals. Last year, the 12 combined for 146 goals and 120 assists. The six forwards and midfielders combined for 129 goals. As a team, the Tropics totaled 126 goals in 24 games last season.
TURNING THE TABLES – In their three year history, the Tropics only have winning records against three MASL teams, including the Dallas Sidekicks and RGV Barracudas, who they are 1-0 against, and the Harrisburg Heat who Florida has a 5-4 lifetime mark against. Conversely, in 13 starts against Milwaukee and Baltimore – who have won the past four MASL championships – Florida is just 1-12 lifetime.
No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Hometown
1 GK Hugo Silva 6-2 215 Salvador, Brazil
2 D Stefan Mijatovich 6-5 225 Elmhurst, Illinois
3 F Gordy Gurson 5-6 145 Buffalo Grove, Illinois
5 D Lucas Teixeira 5-8 155 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
7 MF Victor Parreiras 5-9 150 Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Braz.
9 F Efrain “Wilo” Martinez 5-9 160 Guadalajara, Mexico
10 MF Antonio Manfut 5-4 140 Cleveland, Ohio
11 F Ricardo Carvalho 6-1 170 Salvador, Brazil
13 MF Gerritson Craane 5-11 180 Kralendijk, Bonaire
14 D Victor Baez 5-8 170 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
16 D Drew Ruggles 6-0 165 Fayetteville, North Carolina
19 F Guilherme 5-10 180 Goio-Ere, Parana, Brazil
20 MF Pedro Ivo Dias 5-7 160 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
21 D Stephen DeRoux 5-10 165 St. Mary, Jamaica
22 MF Anthony Arico 5-10 175 Tampa, Florida
23 D J. P. Reyes 6-0 165 Orlando, Florida
24 F Melvin Boateng 5-9 150 Kumasi, Ghana
26 D Fernando Machado 6-1 180 Sao Paulo, Brazil
27 F Joey Tavernese 5-9 155 Queens, New York
32 GK Rainer Hauss 6-0 185 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
33 D Rafael Alves 6-3 200 Praia Grande, Brazil
39 D Robert Acosta 6-2 180 Tuscon, Arizona
70 MF Ricardinho Sobreira 5-7 125 Sao Paulo, Brazil
88 F Zach Reget 6-0 200 Kenosha, Wisconsin
90 D Lucas Montelares 6-1 190 Balneario Camboriu, Brazil
99 MF Matt Clare 6-0 185 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
HEAD COACH: Clay Roberts (24-42, fourth season)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Corey Mills, Will Arroyo (GK),
Lucas Teixeira, Robbie Aristedemo
2 – Steph’-on Me-ah-toe’-vich
5 – Lucas Teh-share’-ah
7 – Victor Pah-rare’-us
10 – Antonio Man’-foot
11 – Ricardo Car-vall’-oh
13 – Gare’-it-son Crane
16 – Drew Rug’-guls
19 – Gui-air’-may
24 – Melvin Bow’-tang
27 – Joey Tah-ver-knee’-see
32 – High’-ner House
70 – Ree-car-deen’-yo So-brare’-ah
88 – Zach Reg’-ette
Fri., Nov. 22 at Orlando SeaWolves 7:35 p.m. Silver Spurs Arena
Thurs., Dec. 5 at Orlando SeaWolves 7:05 p.m. Silver Spurs Arena
Sat., Dec. 7 at Milwaukee Wave 7:07 p.m.* UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Sat. Dec.14 vs. Orlando SeaWolves 5:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sat. Dec. 21 vs. Baltimore Blast 5:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sat, Dec. 28 vs. Milwaukee Wave 5:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Fri., Jan. 3 at Rochester Lancers 7:35 p.m. The Dome Center
Sat., Jan. 4 at Baltimore Blast 5:05 p.m. SECU Arena
Sun., Jan. 12 vs. Orlando SeaWolves 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sat., Jan. 19 vs. Orlando SeaWolves 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sat. Jan. 25 vs. St. Louis Ambush 5:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Fri., Jan. 31 at Dallas Sidekicks 7:05 p.m.* Allen Event Center
Sat., Feb 1 at Mesquite Outlaws 7:05 p.m.* Mesquite Arena
Sun., Feb. 8 vs. San Diego Sockers 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sun., Feb. 15 vs. Rochester Lancers 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sun. Feb. 16 at Milwaukee Wave 5:07 p.m.* UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Sun., Feb. 22 vs. Soles de Sonora 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Thurs., Feb. 27 at Tacoma Stars 7:35 p.m.** ShoWare Center
Sun., March 1 at Tacoma Stars 5:05 p.m.** ShoWare Center
Fri., March 6 at Rochester Lancers 7:35 p.m. The Dome Center
Sun., March 8 vs. St Louis Ambush 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Sun., March 15 vs. Kansas City Comets 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
Thurs., March 19 at Orlando SeaWolves 7:05 p.m. Silver Spurs Arena
Sun., March 22 vs Cal Express 3:05 p.m. RP Funding Center
• * Central Standard Time ** Pacific Standard Time
>>> All games broadcast live at www.masl.tv and all home games also
broadcast live on Great 38, WTTA-TV, Tampa <<<
ABOUT THE TROPICS – Tropics Soccer Florida Tropics Soccer Club is a professional soccer organization based in Lakeland, Florida. The Tropics operate a Major Arena Soccer League franchise who play at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland (Florida Tropics), a WPSL franchise (Florida Tropics WPSL), and the 2019 United Premier Soccer League national champion FloridaTropics SC who play at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale, FL. The Tropics youth club umbrella consists of over 3,000 players and includes an affiliate partner, the Celebration Tropics, in Celebration, FL, as well as a main hub in Lakeland, the Lakeland Topics Futbo Club, a not-for-profit organization and one of the largest and most prominent youth soccer organizations in Florida. More information can be found at www.fltropics.com or by calling 863-240-0101.