Nine Saturday Home Games, Orlando Rival Showdowns, Highlight 2018-19 MASL Schedule

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla – The Florida Tropics will face local rival the Orlando SeaWolves six times this coming season as one of the highlights of the team's 24-game regular season schedule announced today by the Major Arena Soccer League.

The SeaWolves, new to the MASL this year, play just 50 miles to the east of SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center, where the Tropics will host 12 games starting with the home opener Saturday, Dec. 1 against the St. Louis Ambush and concluding with the last home game Saturday, April 6 against the Baltimore Blast who have won the last three MASL championships.

For the first time in three years. Florida will play Eastern Conference games only, with a  concentration of games within the conference's South Central division, where the Tropics reside along with Orlando, the Ambush, the Milwaukee Wave and Kansas City Comets. All three road games at the Silver Spurs Arena which Orlando calls home come in the final eight games of the season, including the regular season finale on April 13.

In fact, 20 of the Tropics 24 regular season games will be inter-division matchups, including six with St. Louis and four each with Milwaukee and Kansas City. The remaining four games are against eastern division foes Baltimore and Harrisburg who will travel to Lakeland, and Utica City FC and the Mississauga Metrostars (Toronto) on the road.

There are fewer back-to-back games this year, with that happening just three times. Six times last season the Tropics had to play on back-to-back nights. This is the third season for the Tropics in Lakeland.

Also, for the first time, the Tropics won't have to finish the season with a heavy dose of road games. In their first two seasons, Florida had to finish the regular season with four straight games on the road because the RP Funding Center was occupied with the Florida state boy's and girl's high school basketball championships.

The MASL moved the regular season start back from early November to early December, freeing up home dates for Florida at the back end of their slate.

“It's a very team and fan friendly schedule,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “It will be great for our fans and fans in Orlando to immediately create what we know will become an exciting and heated rivalry right out of the gate. And to play most of the games within our division, and be able to be at home at perhaps the most important time of the year, means every game will be critical in our goal of making the post-season.”

The schedule is indeed fan-friendly, with nine of the 12 home games slated for Saturday night. There are two Sunday matinees in March, which have proved popular in the past two seasons, and one Friday night date.

Season tickets are now on sale at, or by calling 863-240-0101. Following is the complete 2018-19 Tropics schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 1 vs. St. Louis Ambush

Saturday, Dec. 8 at Mississagua Metrostars

Sunday Dec. 9 at Utica City FC

Friday, Dec. 14 vs. Harrisburg Heat

Saturday, Dec. 22 vs. Milwaukee Wave

Saturday, Dec. 29 vs. Orlando SeaWolves

Saturday, Jan. 5 at St. Louis

Sunday, Jan. 6 at Kansas City

Saturday, Jan. 12 vs. Orlando SeaWolves

Saturday, Jan. 19 vs. Milwaukee Wave

Saturday, Jan. 26 vs. St. Louis Ambush

Friday, Feb. 1 at St. Louis

Saturday, Feb. 2 at Kansas City

Saturday, Feb. 9 at Milwaukee

Saturday, Feb. 16  vs. Orlando SeaWolves

Sunday, Feb. 24 at St. Louis

Saturday, March 2 at Orlando

Sunday, March 10 vs. St. Louis Ambush

Friday, March 15 at Orlando

Sunday, March 17 vs. Kansas City Comets

Saturday, March 23 at Milwaukee

Saturday, March 30 vs. Kansas City Comets

Saturday, April 6 vs. Baltimore Blast

Saturday, April 13 at Orlando