Diegues, Boateng lead Tropics SC to triumph in inaugural UPSL match

by Brian Ackley

ORLANDO – Ricardo Diegues, the Florida Tropics all time leading scorer in the Major Arena Soccer League, scored five minutes into the game and is was all the Tropics SC needed in a 2-0 season-opening win over The Institute FC.

It was the Tropics SC first-ever game in the United Premier Soccer League, who will play eight home games this spring at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale.

Diegues, who has 67 goals in 54 games played for the professional arena soccer Tropics, converted on a rebound of a Victor Parreiras free-kick from about 22 yards out. Melvin Boateng gave the Tropics some breathing room, converting a breakaway in the 66th minute.

Hugo Silva, starting goalkeep for the MASL Tropics, got the clean sheet in goal. The Tropics SC are 1-0, while Institute FC falls to 0-1-2 in the UPSL's Southeastern Conference Pro Premier Florida Central West Division.

The Tropics SC – one of two outdoor developmental teams including the Lakeland Tropics who will kick off their third season at Bryant Stadium May 11 in USL League Two – will play next in their home opener Friday, April 12 at the Lake Myrtle  Auburndale when they meet Leg A-Z Soccer International.

The MASL Florida Tropics will conclude the home portion of their 2018-19 professional indoor season at the RP Funding Center Saturday in hosting the Kansas City Comets, and April 6 by hosting the three-time defending league champion Baltimore Blast. Kickoff for both games is 7:05 p.m.