Gurson, Ruggles will represent U.S. in minifootball World Cup in Australia next month

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – Two of the Florida Tropics newest stars – Gordy Gurson and Drew Ruggles – have been named to the roster of the U.S. National Men's Arena Soccer team in advance of the 2019 minifootball World Cup next month.

Gurson and Ruggles were both signed as free-agents by the Tropics this summer, two of nine new faces on a remade roster that now features some of the top talent in the Major Arena Soccer League.

The Tropics will kick off their fourth season in the MASL late this fall, with their home opener set for Saturday, December 14. 

Gurson was fifth in the MASL in goals last season with the Orlando SeaWolves – and fourth overall in league scoring – with 34 goals and 24 assists. Over the last three seasons of professional indoor soccer, he has 87 goals and 53 assists in just 66 games played. He also a member of the U.S. National Arena team that won the World Minifootball Federation World Cup in 2015.

Ruggles was a key member of the Milwaukee defense, as the Wave won the 2018-19 MASL championship.  He notched 11 goals and added 8 assists from the backline as the Wave posted a 21-3 regular season record.

When arena team reconstitute themselves as the US6 National Team for next month’s six-a-side WMF World Cup in Perth, Australia, they will be traveling with possibly the top roster American Association of Soccer 5-6-7 General Manager Bernie Lilavois has ever assembled, headlined by U.S. Men's National outdoor start Jermaine Jones.

In all, the Tropics have now six players who will be part of the World Cup, with four players already announced as part of the Brazilian roster, including goalkeepers Rainer Hauss and Hugo Silva, midfielder Ricardinho Sobreira and Ricardo Carvalho, a free -agent addition this summer who was ninth in the league in goals last year with 30 as a member of the Harrisburg Heat.

“This is testament to the type of talent we sought to acquire, and then signed, this off-season. They are all among the premier players in the game today,” Tropics Coach Clay Roberts said. “There's no greater thrill for an athlete than to play for their country, and to have so many of our players be part of it is a privilege.”

The 2019 World Cup will be played outdoors  – without dasher boards – with each team fielding a goalkeeper and five players. Fields are approximately 50 meters long and 30 meters wide, with goals being four meters wide and two meters tall. Games are played in two 25-minute halves. A total of 32 countries will be represented, playing a total of 64 games from Oct. 1 to Oct. 11.

The Tropics will start their pre-season training in late October, with the season expected to kick off in late November before the Dec. 14 home opener. Full and half-season ticket plans are now available online at, or by calling 83-240-0101.