Clay Roberts named Major Arena Soccer League Coach-of-the-Year

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – Consider it a coaching daily double for Florida Tropics bench boss Clay Roberts

Roberts has been named the Major Arena Soccer League’s Coach-of-the-Year, after leading the club to a huge turnaround in the 2019-20 season, posting a mark of 18-3. The league’s remainder of the regular season was canceled in mid March due to the Coronavirus outbreak with three of Florida’s regular season games remaining. The Tropics claimed the Eastern Conference Championship with its record, which was an amazing turnaround from one season ago, when the team managed just a 6-18 mark.

Last November, he was named the Sun Conference’s Coach-of-the-Year after leading the Southeastern Fire to a 14-1-2 overall, It was his second such honor in the Sun Conference, having won it in 2015 as well.

“As always, while their might be one name on the award, such an honor is a true team award. Every single one of our players made sacrifices and bought into our vision for success this past season, that’s how such honors are achieved,” Robert said. “There was also a tremendous vision and support from ownership, and perhaps most importantly, a sharing of that vision which resulted in unprecedented support from the local business community and our fans. All those things added up to the season we had, and I’m humbled to accept the award on behalf of everyone.”

So far this season, the Tropics have done well in collecting post-season honors. Drew Ruggles was named as an All MASL First Team defender with a career-high 14 goals and 22 blocks, second best on the team. The Tropics leading scorer Ricardo Carvalho , was named All MASL Third Team, while forward Victor Parreiras and goalkeeper Hugo Silva earned  Second Team recognition. Silva is one of three finalists for Goaltender-of-the Year which will be announced Thursday, April 16.

Each active MASL player, head coach, and one member of each team front office were invited to submit one ballot. Voting was based on the regular season performance.

Calculating the 1st, 2nd and 3rd All-MASL Teams are based off a point system. Players receive three points for a 1st team vote, two points for 2nd team, and one point for a 3rd team vote. The highest number of points is then calculated to determine three forward/midfielders in each team, then two defenders, and one goalkeeper.

In case of a tie in points, it is determined by who had more 1st team votes, then 2nd team. The All-Rookie Team is selected by highest total votes by position (F, M/F, D, GK). Individual major awards are based on highest number of total votes. Tie breakers go to player with the most all league points or it can be determined a tie. 

The remaining 2019-2020 MASL awards schedule of announcements:

Thursday April 16 - Goalkeeper of the Year Award and Defender of the Year nominees.

Friday April 17 - Defender of the Year Award and MVP nominees.

Saturday April 18 - MVP award.