The Florida Tropics will start their fourth season of professional indoor soccer at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland last this fall
The Florida Tropics have opened the Major Arena Soccer League free agency period with a bang, signing Ricardo Carvalho, who was ninth in the league last season in both goals and total points and then the signing of Gordy Gurson, fifth in the league in goals scored last year, and fourth in overall points.The Tropics have now signed two of the top nine goal scorers during the 2018-19 MASL campaign.
This will be Carvalho’s fifth season in the MASL, with the last three spent with the Harrisburg Heat. Last season, he had a career high 30 goals and 19 assists in 23 games. For his career with the Heat, in 63 games he had 67 goals and 43 assists for 110 points.
The Brazilian native started his professional arena career with the Chicago Mustangs in the 2015-16 season, earning All MASL Rookie first-team honors after scoring 18 goals and adding seven assists.
“Our ownership group has given us the green light to try to bring in new talent this off season, so we are thrilled to bring in someone of Ricardo’s talents,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “He is a dynamic presence, a finisher with vision who can also set up his linemates, and a young veteran just entering his prime as a player.”
Roberts added that this would be the beginning, not the end, of a roster overhaul after an injury plagued 2018-19 season in which the Tropics managed just a 6-18 mark.
Over the past three seasons, Gurson has 87 goals and 53 assists in just 66 games played. His best season was his last in Orlando when he scored 34 goals and added 24 assists. He was fifth in the league in goals and fourth in overall points. In six games against Florida, the 27-year old dynamo had 13 goals, including a four-goal outburst Jan. 12 and three goals on
Feb. 12, both played at the RP Funding Center.
“Ever since the Tropics have been in the league, it’s been easy to admire Gordy and his skill and maybe most importantly his constant heart and hustle for 60 minutes every game,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “I know our fans will love him; we will be thrilled to have him on our side instead of having to play against him. His stats are incredible, they speak for themselves, but
his intangibles on and off the field are what truly sets him apart.”
A native of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Gurson wasted little time in becoming one of the premier indoor players in the game. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2014-2015, his first season in the MASL, when he scored 46 goals and added 18 assists for the Tacoma Stars and St. Louis Ambush. The following season, with St. Louis and Cedar Rapids, he scored 33 goals in
just 18 games. After two additional seasons in Cedar Rapids, he came to Orlando before the
start of the 2018-19 campaign.
In sum, in his 107-game MASL career so far, Gurson has 166 goals and 75 assists. In 2015, he was a member of the U. S. team which won the World Minifootball Federation World Cup. “I can’t wait to get started. I got the chance to play three times in Lakeland, and it was a great experience with great crowds and a lot of fun,” Gurson said. “So, it’s the same state and a
new team, but the same goal, to get this team to the 2019-20 MASL playoffs.”
Earlier this week, the MASL announced the time-table for the annual Free Agency Period. Across the league, there are over 250 players eligible for free agency during this period.
Beginning May 15 at 9 a.m. EDT through May 30 at 6 p.m. EDT will be considered a “Live Period” for contract negotiations. Players with contracts expiring prior to November 1, 2019 will be able to sign with any team ONLY during this period. Players with expired contracts are free to sign at any time.
If a player is already under contract or signs a contract extension (pending league approval) through the 2019-2020 season, they will not be eligible during the Live Period. The Tropics will start their fourth season in the MASL late this fall at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. For more information, visit www.fltropics.com.