Florida hits the road with stops in Mississauga, Utica this weekend

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Tropics SC will hit the road for the first of three back-to-back away games this season when they meet the Mississauga MetroStars Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8 in suburban Toronto and Sunday, Dec. 9 when they travel to meet Utica City FC.

The Tropics are coming off a successful debut of the 2018-19 season with a win at home last Saturday against the now division rival St. Louis Ambush. Victor Parreiras scored twice, and Florida got goals from seven other players in the 9-4 win. The Tropics are now 3-0 lifetime in both season and home openers.

Mississauga is new this year in the MASL, and their maiden voyage was a tough assignment, in Baltimore against the three-time defending league champion Baltimore Blast. The MetroStars fell, 11-3. This will be their first home game of the season. Kickoff is at 3:05 p.m. The Metrostars will feature former MLS MVP, EPL, and Toronto FC captain Dwayne De Rosario along with for Tropics midfielder Marco Rodriguez. 

The Tropics then travel down the New York State Thruway to take on Utica City FC on Sunday in a 2:05 start. Utica was the only team two win twice in the MASL's opening weekend, coming from behind to post a 9-7 triumph in Harrisburg and then marking their first-ever home game with a 5-2 win over the Blast.

Florida will be shorthanded Saturday. With immigration issues not allowing a number of players to travel, the Tropics will only dress a handful of regulars, with the rest of the team being signed from Canadian players approved to play.

Freddy Moojen will not be making the trip while still nursing a leg injury. Ricardo Diegues is also out following sports hernia surgery this week, and is aiming for a return in late December or early January. Those two combined to score 50 of the team's 141 goals a season ago.

Florida will be back at home Friday, Dec. 14, to host the Harrisburg Heat. Kickoff is 7:35 for the lone Friday night game on the Tropics 12-game home schedule. The remainder of the season's home schedule will fall on Saturday nights, with two Sunday matinees in March. For ticket and team information, go to www.fltropics.com. All MASL games are broadcast live at www.masl.tv.

About the Tropics:  Tropics Soccer Club is a professional soccer organization based in Lakeland, Florida. The Tropics operate a Major Arena Soccer League Franchise (Florida Tropics SC who play at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland), a USL Two franchise (Lakeland Tropics who play at historic Bryant Stadium in Lakeland),a WPSL franchise (Florida Tropics SC Women’s). and the Kickers FC, one of the premier amateur club programs in the United State with seven national championships. The Tropics youth club umbrella includes Lakeland Tropics FC, Pinellas County United Tropics, and the Celebration Tropics. The Tropics are owned and operated by Central Florida Sports Ventures, LLC, headquartered in Lakeland, Florida. More information can be found at TropicsSoccer.com.)