Florida Tropics SC look to start turnaround as Milwaukee Wave visits Saturday

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – The new-look Florida Tropics SC will hope to turn around their fortunes Saturday, when they host the Milwaukee Wave in a Major Arena Soccer League South Central division match-up Saturday night at the RP Funding Center.

Expected to be in the lineup, are Florida's newest acquisitions – Andre Braithwaite and Antonio Manfut. Braithwaite was acquired from Utica City FC, and Manfut comes over from the St. Louis Ambush in trades that sent Freddy Moojen to Utica and Jowayne Laidley to St. Louis.

The Tropics made the two trades within 24 hours of each other midweek, after a disappointing 11-5 loss to the Orlando SeaWolves last Saturday that left Florida's record at just 3-6, last place in the division.

Injuries continue to plague the Tropics, with Victor Parreiras and Lucas Teixeira both expected to once again miss Saturday's game, as will Enzo Marangoni.

Guilherme continues to shine offensively for Florida, leading the team with 12 goals in eight games, tied for fourth in the league for goals so far this year, and seventh overall in points. Milwaukee (7-1)  is paced by leading scorer Robert Renaud, who has eight goals and 10 assists in eight starts, good for fifth overall in the league in points this season.

This is the second of four meetings this year between the two teams. Milwaukee took a 7-2 win at the RP Funding Center on Dec. 22, with seven different Milwaukee players scoring goals. Max Ferdinand had a goal and two assists for a three-point night.

Florida will conclude a three-game home stand Jan. 26, when they host the St. Louis Ambush. Up to four free complimentary tickets for each game are available to government workers by going online to www.fltropics.com/government-employees-tickets. Additional tickets and more information can be found at www.fltropics.com or by calling 863-240-0101.

Both games will also be broadcast live at www.masl.tv.