Diegues nets two in the fourth to lift Tropics over Kansas City, 7-6

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – Ricardo Diegues netted his team-leading 14th and 15th goals of the season in the fourth quarter to lift the Florida Tropics to a 7-6 win over the visiting Kansas City Comets in a Major Arena Soccer League matchup.

The Tropics got four goals from five  different goal scorers – Ricardinho, Raphael Schlemper, Victor Parrieras Rafael Alves and Anthony Arico – to take a 5-1 lead at intermission.

Kansas City battled back with three straight, to cut the lead to 5-4 before Diegues gave Florida a three-goal cushion. Bryan Perez had two goals, while Leo Gibson, Adam James, Anthony Grant and Lucas Rodriguez had one each as Kansas City fell to 4-10 on the year. Florida improved to 7-6, a half-game ahead of Syracuse for second place in the east.

Miguel Gallardo got his first win in goal for the Tropics, starting just his second game. Kansas City outshot Florida 17-3 in the final quarter, and 35-22 for the game.

Florida is on the road next weekend when they play at Harrisburg Saturday night and in Syracuse Sunday afternoon. They will return home on Saturday, February 9 when they host the Harrisburg Heat. All Tropics games are broadcast live at www.masl.tv. For ticket information for Florida's final three home games of the regular season, go to www.fltropics.com or call 863-605-4131.