Four-goal outburst against Utica gives Carvalho MASL Offensive Player of Week honors

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla – Florida forward Ricardo Carvalho has been named the Major Arena Soccer League’s Offensive Player of the Week after his four-goal performance against Utica City FC  this past Sunday.

Carvalho, who had been held without a goal in the Tropics first three games, got the game winning goal on Dec. 19 in a 7-6 win over Ontario, paving the way to his big afternoon against Utica as Florida took a 10-3 decision.

It was the second time in his career that the high-scoring forward has had four goals in a game. He also turned that trick  in March, 2019, in an 8-4 win over the Mississauga MetroStars in his last season with Harrisburg before joining the Tropics.  Six times in his career he has had a hat trick. In 113 career MASL games, he has 120 regular season goals in 118 games. 

Dallas goaltender Juan Gamboa won Defensive Player of the Week honors, backstopping the upstart Dallas Sidekicks to three wins in a four day stretch, making 41 total saves. He’s now tied with Florida’s Hugo Silva for wins this season, each with three.

The Tropics will rematch with Utica City FC on Sunday, Jan. 9 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. The two teams tangled there on Jan. 2 with Florida taking a 10-3 triumph.

The game will be broadcast live on the MASL’s YouTube channel starting at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, with kickoff set for 3:05 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the “For the Fans” network available on DirecTV (Channel 623) and many cable and streaming services such as AT&T Uverse, Verizon Fios and Roku. 

Local fans can score free general admission to all of the team’s home games this winter thanks to its sponsors who are presenting the “Tropics Blitz”.

The “Tropics Blitz” will provide free general admission tickets  as a way of providing a great evening of family entertainment for parents and kids who have had their activities curtailed because of the ongoing pandemic. Vehicles with two or more persons will pay $20 to park, and then be able to take their parking receipt to the RP Funding Center box office for the same number of free tickets to that day’s game as occupants in the vehicle. Single occupant vehicles will pay just $10 for parking. 

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(Photos by Christopher Arnold / Florida Tropics)