'Save by Silva!' -- Sweet words for Tropics fans as all-star goaltender returns

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Florida – The sounds of “Save by Silva!” will be booming through the RP Funding Center for the rest of the Florida Tropics 2022-23 season.

Silva, who had been unable to play due to visa issues, is now eligible to play, and has joined the Tropics for the final three regular season games and playoffs.

Silva is a two-time MASL all star, and was on his way to perhaps a Goaltender of the Year honor in 2021-22 when he became ineligible to play after nine starts. 

In those nine games, however, Silva was 8-1 with a goals against average of 3.45 and saves percentage of .801. In 97 career regular season appearances, including 95 starts, Silva is 53-36 with a 5.43 goals against average. His two prior seasons with Florida before last year he had goals against averages of 4.43 and 4.14. 

“His talents and numbers speak for themselves,” Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “He has been playing pro futsal in Brazil, so he comes in soccer ready and highly motivated to get back to the MASL where he has been one of the top goalkeepers in the league for a number of years now.”

Silva is expected to be available to dress Sunday when the Tropics host Utica City FC and the following weekend, March 31 and April 2, when Florida closes out its regular season by hosting the St. Louis Ambush for a pair of games.

The MASL playoffs, starting with a one-game play in matchup of the No. 4 and No. 5 finishing teams in the East Division will see that winner advance to the league quarterfinals which will be a home-and-home between the two teams, with a 15-minute knockout game played at the conclusion of game two if the teams split their first two games. 

Currently, the Tropics sit in third in the East, but the top three teams separated by just five points. Milwaukee (first, 39 points), Baltimore (second, 35 points) and Florida, (third, 34 points) all have three games remaining in the regular season. 

Home game tickets are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at www.rpfundingcenter.com, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as opposed to calling the box office directly.