No fooling, Tropics set to make debut in MASL playoffs with date vs. San Diego Sockers April 1
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri – It’s no joke, the Florida Tropics will make their first appearance in the Major Arena Soccer League playoffs Thursday when they hook up with the San Diego Sockers in Kansas City.
The April Fool’s Day kickoff is at 2:05 p.m. Central Standard Time (3:05 EST), and will be broadcast live on the league’s Facebook Pay-Per-View channel. A link to purchase the broadcast for $7.99 can be found at maslsoccer.com
Because of the nation’s ongoing pandemic, the league is hosting all semi-finals game at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri, on April 1 and 3. Kansas City is facing the Ontario Fury in the other semi-finals. Each series is best-of-two. If the team’s split the first two games, a full 15-minute “mini game” will be played at the conclusion of Saturday’s game to determine who moves onto the finals which will be held the following weekend in St. Louis.
It is the first-time in the team’s five-year history they have advanced to the league’s post-season, but with the pandemic, it means they have still never played a playoff game at their home arena, the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Last season, Florida won the Eastern Conference championship with an 18-3 record, but the Covid-19 outbreak resulted in the cancellation of the post-season.
The Tropics come in on a two-game winning streak, playing arguably their two best games of the year March 10 and 11 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, defeating the host Fury 6-3, and wrapping up a regular season title a night later with a 7-5 win over the Tacoma Stars. Because the Tropics finished first in the regular season, they received a first round playoff bye. San Diego defeated Tacoma in two games in the quarterfinals, although both went into overtime, in games played in Ontario as well.
“We’re excited to be here and have had a great two weeks of preparation,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “The break has allowed us to be as healthy as a roster as we have been all season, and our mindset is excellent. We know these will be tough games when you get to this level, but we think we’ve put together a roster of players willing to give what it takes to bring our first championship back to Central Florida.”
Florida is lead by Ian Bennett, who tops the league in goals (19) and total points (27). Victor Parreiras led the MASL in assists in the regular season with 15, and goalkeeper Hugo Silva comes in third in goals against and saves percentage and first in wins.
For more information, visit www.fltropics.com or www.maslsoccer.com, or any of the team’s or league’s social platforms.