Former NASL standout will join Tropics in time for this weekend's showdown with St. Louis Ambush
LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics SC have signed North American Soccer League forward Daniel Mendes to help bolster the team's offensive attack in the absence of one of the team's leading scorers.
Daniel Mendes is expected to play this weekend when the Tropics host St. Louis in two-game series on their home turf at the Lakeland Center.
Mendes was a standout in 2014 and 2015 for Minnesota United, one of the NASL's premier teams which will begin play in Major League Soccer in 2017. He had 15 goals in those two years, after a standout career in Sweden, where playing professionally in that country's top league, he tallied 52 goals in 186 games. He was named NASL player-of-the-week in Week 5 of the 2014 NASL campaign.
A native of Brazil, he has some futsal experience in his home country, but this will be his first appearance in professional arena soccer.
“He has the ability to score goals and be a constant attack threat, that's why we have brought him in,” Coach Clay Roberts noted. “He will also bring composure and a 1-v-1 ability that we will need to help us in our playoff run.”
Florida is expected to be without the services of its second leading scorer, and top goal getter, Ricardo Diegues. He injured a hamstring in a game Dec. 31 at Cedar Rapids, and is expected to be out of the lineup until sometime in February.
Mendes will celebrate his 36th birthday on Wednesday, and will wear number 31 for the Tropics, who host St. Louis at 7:35 p.m. this Friday at the Lakeland Center. Florida and the Ambush will play the second game of their weekend series Sunday afternoon at the Lakeland Center, starting at 5:35 p.m.
They are the second and third games of a seven game homestand. Tickets are available at www.fltropics.com, or by calling 863-333-5353. All Tropics games home and away can be watched live and free of charge online at www.masl.tv.