Free agent Taylor Walter Bond inks three-year deal to join Tropics front line

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Another forward who has averaged better than a point per game in his Major Arena Soccer League career will be joining the Florida Tropics for the 2021-22 season.

Taylor Walter Bond, a free agent after a three-year stint with the defending league champion San Diego Sockers, has signed a three-year deal with the Tropics. Per league and team regulations, no further contract information is released. 

Bond has appeared in 112 career MASL games, scoring 99 goals and adding 37 assists for 136 points. Last year with the Soccers, he appeared in just four games, with his lone goal coming in a playoff win over the Tropics. His best MASL season came in 2016-17 with the Chicago Mustangs when he knocked in 40 goals and added 14 assists to earn Second Team All MASL Honors.

“Taylor for me has been the most undervalued player in the league the last couple of seasons,” Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “When he was out in San Diego, he wasn’t put in a big role, but before that, he had a 40 goal season. To have the ability to score 40 goals in a season in this league says everything.”

Roberts said fans shouldn’t be misled by his drop off in production, and that his style of play fits the Florida philosophy well.

“It’s just getting him in the right place, and it seems like he’s scored against us in just about every game we’ve played San Diego. He has a knack for goal and I think it’s underappreciated. He fits our style of play. For him to be a primary second forward is fantastic. We really like our front two lines with him there,” he added.

A physical presence at 6-2, 200 pounds, the 33 year-old native of St. Charles, Illinois, has also made stops with the Tacoma Stars and Cedar Rapids Rampage. In 14 career playoff games, he has six goals and an assist. Walter is the last name of Bond’s stepfather, Stephen Walter, who raised Bond.

The Tropics will kick off its sixth season in the MASL on Saturday, Dec. 4, when they travel to Baltimore to take on the Blast. The home season starts Dec. 18 when the Ontario Fury come to the RP Funding Center for a weekend doubleheader.

Information on tickets – including a new “thank you” policy that will allow thousands of fans to attend Tropics games this season without having to purchase tickets – will be released next week. For all the latest information, visit www.fltropics.com or follow us on any of the team’s social media platforms.