'Face of the franchise', Captain Victor Parreiras signs new three-year deal to stay with Tropics
LAKELAND, Fla. – It’s official, the player who has become the unquestioned face of the Major Arena Soccer League Florida Tropics will be staying in Central Florida.
The Tropics have signed their captain, and all-time leading scorer, to a three-year contact. Per team and league rules, no further information about the deal will be released.
Parreiras has been with the Tropics presented by Bond Clinic since their historic first game, an incredible and unlikely 6-5 comeback win over the now reigning MASL champion San Diego Sockers at the RP Funding Center on November, 11, 2016. The Tropics scored five goals in the final 15 minutes.
He scored his first goal on Dec. 9, 2016 against the St. Louis Ambush, and this past season, overtook his good friend Ricardo Diegues to become the team’s all time leader in both goals and points.
He comes into his sixth season with Florida having appeared in 96 games played for Florida, scoring 71 goals and adding 61 assists for 132 points. He joined the Tropics after one MASL season with Brownsville, where he scored 23 goals in 16 games. For his MASL career, he has made 112 appearances with 94 goals and 70 assists for 164 total points.
The soft-spoken Parreiras was an All MASL Second Team all-star for the 2019-20 season, his best with Florida when he poured in season-best 21 goals (to go along with 15 assists for 36 points, also a career high water mark) and added All MASL honorable mention honors for the 2021 campaign where he tied his season high for assists with 15
Tropics Coach Clay Roberts, who has been behind the Florida bench for every one of Victor’s starts, has had a first hand look at his star’s growth both on and off the field.
“As he’s progressed in his career, he’s stood out as a top player in our league, but more importantly a top player on our club. He wears the captain’s band and he’s involved in our community. He’s become the face of the franchise.. To have him back as a staple of our core, it was imperative that we get something done in the off-season,” Roberts said.
A native of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the 5-9 forward picked up the nuances of the indoor game quicker than some.
“His knowledge of the game has gone to a new level very quickly. His talent has always been there so it’s been fun to watch him insert his individual moments inside the framework of what we want to do, and what the indoor game required,” Roberts explained. “To see his indoor IQ blossom has been exciting. He is such a naturally talented player, he’s been able to exploit that on the field, that’s his own creativity in those moments that makes him who he is.”
The coach also said his captain’s growth off the field has helped improve his game as well.
“Victor has grown as a person. He came to us really young, fresh out of college, and to see him grow as a man has influenced his idea about ‘I can take this seriously, I can make a career out of this.’ The second he did that, is the second he started to blossom not only on the field but as a leader,” Roberts added. “His leadership comes by his actions, and then he says ‘that’s what we need to do.’ He recognizes here’s what the game needs, here’s what we need, how can I influence that? His leadership style is very unique. It’s action first.”
He is one of four remaining Tropics players from that 2016 debut, joining midfielder Anthony Arico and defenders Lucas Teixeira and Lucas Montelares.
The Tropics will kick off their sixth season of professional indoor soccer in Lakeland in late fall, playing a 24-game schedule. The Tropics won the MASL regular season title in 2021 with a 10-3 record, but fell in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual champion San Diego Sockers. In 2019-20, they were the Eastern Conference champions with a record of 18-3 before the Covid pandemic brought the season to a screeching end.
A complete schedule is expected to be finalized and released in the next few weeks, as will details about a new fan-friendly ticket program the team will introduce in conjunction with its great community sponsors.