Pair by Parreiras puts Tropics in playoff picture with two game to play

by Brian Ackley

AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- The United Premier Socclr League Florida Tropics put themselves back in the playoff picture, thanks to an old friend with a come from behind win this past weekend over Lakeland United.

Victor Parreiras, fresh off a first-team all star season with the Tropics of the Major Arena Soccer League who advanced to the championship series for the first time in their history this spring, scored early and again late in the second half to lift the Tropics to a 2-1 win over the United.

The Tropics improved to 3-2-3 on the regular season, good for a tie for fourth in the eight-team UPSL Florida Premier West Division, with two games remaining in the regular season. Their 11 points ties them with Florida Premier 3-2-3, who the Tropics beat earlier this season.

Currently, League A-Z International leads the West with a 5-1-1 record (15 points), followed by the United 4-2-2 (14 points) and St. Petersburg Aztecs at 4-2-1 (13 points, one game less played). Rounding out the rest of the division is Naples City FC at 3-4-1 (10 points), Clearwater Charges at 2-6-0 (six points) and the Azzurri Storm at 1-5-2 (five points).

The Tropics trailed 1-0 at intermission Saturday, but Parreiras worked through traffic at the top left of the box just two minutes into the second half to tie the score. 

He got the game winner in the 84th minute when Southeastern University standout Jake Van Der Luit made a speedy run hugging the right sideline and then struck a long, perfect cross to the back post which Parreiras redirected into the goal for the 2-1 win. 

The Tropics will host the Clearwater Charges Saturday at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park, weather permitting, on Saturday, Jun. 4 before closing the season on Saturday, Jun. 11 in what could be a key rematch against the United. Kickoff for both are set for 6 p.m.