Hugo Silva gets first-ever home shutout as Tropics roll past Dallas Sidekicks, 8-0

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. –  Three goals in the span of just over three minutes early in the second half, and strong goaltending by Hugo Silva, lifted the Florida Tropics to an 8-0 win over the Dallas Sidekicks in Major Arena Soccer League action Saturday night at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

It was the second shutout in team history, and first at home. Ironically, the Tropics got a 7-0 shutout win in Dallas last year, but Brett Petricek was the goalkeeper that night. Silva, a second team All MASL selection last year, stopped all 23 of the Sidekicks shots. 

The win also tied a team record for best start to a season at 5-0, and extended the team’s winning streak at home to 12 consecutive games.

Dallas has now gone 1:30.51 without scoring against Florida. Their last goal against the Tropics came Jan. 6, 2017 in a Tropics win at home when Cameron Brown scored 4:09 into the fourth quarter.

“We actually talked before the game about a shutout,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “We felt like we really wanted to step up the defensive effort while at the same time consistently keep up a good tempo, which we did especially well in the second half. Hugo had some really difficult saves that he made looked easier than they were, and he did a tremendous job controlling any rebounds all night long. ”

It was just a 1-0 game at intermission on a goal by Guilherme, who started the third quarter onslaught at the 1:13 mark of the third with his second of the game. That was followed quickly by goals by Joey Tavernese  (3:43)  and Ian Bennett (4:21) to make it a 4-0 score.

Florida got additional second-half goals by Tavernese, Bennett, Joshio Sandoval and Zach Reget. Captain Victor Parreiras tied a team record with four assists.

After playing five games in 14 days, the Tropics will be off now until a road trip to St. Louis to take on the Ambush Jan. 29 and 31. The Sidekicks will host Florida on Feb. 12, before the Tropics return home to meet Tacoma (Feb. 18), San Diego (Feb. 19) and Ontario (Feb 21) as the RP Funding Center hosts six MASL games in four days,. 

The league is announcing schedules only a month at a time because of the pandemic restrictions, but the final games of the regular season will be played by April 18.

Single game tickets are available through the team’s Facebook page (click on the event link), or by calling 863-240-0101. Tickets will also be available gameday at the RP Funding Center box office. The team and arena have devised a socially distanced seating plan that can accommodate approximately 1,500 fans per game. Facial coverings will be required for those in attendance.