Goalkeeper Rainer Hauss will return to MASL Florida Tropics on new two-year deal

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. –  Off a spectacular postseason performance that saw the Florida Tropics advance all the way to the Major Arena Soccer League championships, goalkeeper Rainer Hauss has been signed by the team to a new two-year deal.

Hauss signed with the Tropics originally for the 2019-20 season, but was unable to play because of work visa issues. Ironically, when Tropics starting netminder Hugo Silva ran into the same issue midway through last season, Hauss’ work status  had in the interim cleared up, and he signed with Florida. Per league and team guidelines, no further information about the new contract will be released.

Tropics Head Coach Clay Roberts said among all the re-signings the club needed to make in the off-season, getting Hauss back on board was among the most important.

“He’s was at the top of the list. We went into last year with what we felt was the best goalkeeper in the league in Hugo Silva, but when he could not finish the season, between him and Jorge (Navarrete), they were phenomenal for us. To have Rainer back on full time with us now is huge,” Roberts noted. “He put to rest any thoughts that he’s not a top caliber goalkeeper in the league. He’s 100 percent that and showed that in the playoffs.”

In five playoff starts in the 2021-22 season he was sensational, posting 3.81 goals against average and a saves percentage of .822  – both second overall among all goaltenders in the postseason -- in leading Florida to playoff series wins over the St. Louis Ambush and Kansas City Comets before the Tropics fell in two games in the finals to the San Diego Sockers. His 74 overall saves  in the three series was tops in the MASL postseason.

“I am very happy to re-sign with the Tropics. I’d like to thank Coach Clay and Doc for trusting my work and for all they do to make this organization successful,” Hauss said. “I’d also like to thank all the fans and friends for their continued support and encouraging words.”

Hauss said he likes how the Tropics are shaping up for the 2022-23 season.

“I’m excited to see how the upcoming season will turn out. We definitely have the talent within our squad and we have been building off this squad and coach’s playing system for three seasons now,” Hauss added. “I am hungrier than ever to achieve our team goals next year. We got really close last season and I feel like we already know what to do to be even better this year. I can’t wait to get to work with my teammates and have another amazing year for the Tropics.”

Hauss started his MASL career with the Cedar Rapids Rampage in 2017-18, and then the Orlando SeaWolves. Including five regular- season games at the end of the Tropics 2021-22 season, Hauss has appeared in 34 regular-season games with a 15-13record  with two overtime losses as well, a 5.84 goals against average and .718 saves percentage. In seven playoff games he is 3-3, with an overtime loss as well, recording a goals against average of 5.35 and saves percentage of .776.

He was named to the MASL All Rookie team in his first year in Cedar Rapids, with a 5.71 GAA (sixth in the league) and saves percentage of .728 (third in the league).

Hauss represented his native Brazil in the WMF World Cup in Tunisia in 2017 and 2019, helping Brazil to the finals in Perth, Australia in October, 2019, and the Pan-American games in 2018 in Guatemala where he was named best goalkeeper in the tournament. He played his college soccer at Union University in Tennessee, posting a 5-2 record in 2010, with a goals-against-average of just 1.15 and most recently at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa when he appeared in 12 games with a 1.78 GAA.

The Tropics – who advanced for the first-time in team history to the MASL championship finals last spring – will start their seventh season in the league in late fall at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. For more information, visit www.fltropics.com.