Slow start dooms Tropics as Ambush hands Florida first loss of 2021 MASL season, 8-4

by Brian Ackley

ST CHARLES, Mo. – The Florida Tropics saw their undefeated start to the Major Arena Soccer League season come to an end Sunday as the host St. Louis Ambush took a 8-4 win over Florida.

The Tropics opened the 2021 MASL season with six straight wins – a team-record for best start ever – and also had an eight game win streak overall heading into Sunday’s tilt, just one short of tying a team record.

However, St. Louis got off to a quick start with Max Ferdinand scoring just 2:27 into the game – the Ambush outshot Florida 8-1 in the first 15 minutes – and the Tropics never did quite recover, falling to 6-1 on the season, still good for first place for the defending Eastern Conference champions. The Ambush improved to 4-3, and sit in second place in the league as the first month of MASL action came to a close. 

St. Louis stretched its lead to 4-0 with three goals in a span of 3:16 early in the second before Florida scored three straight – two by captain Victor Parreiras and another by forward Joey Tavernese – to make it 4-3 early in the third. But they never did get an equalizer. Rafa Alves made it 5-4 before St. Louis closed the scoring with three unanswered goals in the fourth. Tony Walls led the St. Louis scoring attack with three goals 

The Tropics will be off until the Sidekicks 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.