Tropics Announce Home Opener Date for December 1st, 2018

by Andrew Ross

LAKELAND – A new season of professional arena soccer will kick off Saturday, Dec. 1 on SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center as the Florida Tropics open their third season in the Major Arena Soccer League.

The Tropics will kick off their 24-game regular season schedule that evening, members of the MASL's new South Central division which also includes their new local rival in the Orlando SeaWolves as well as three of the most iconic franchises in the history of indoor soccer in the Milwaukee Wave, Kansas City Comets and St. Louis Ambush. 

A complete schedule will be released later this fall, including the naming of an opponent for the Dec. 1 opener. All 12 Tropics games are expected to be on weekend dates running through the end of March. 

The club is expected to return fan favorites like Freddy Moojen, Ricardo Diegues, Lucas Teixeira and Victor Parreiras, along with newcomers like goaltender Hugo Silva, a standout the last two seasons with the Harrisburg Heat. Although not a newcomer, Rafael Alves is back for a second season, after missing all but one game last year with an injury, and also figures to be a major upgrade to the roster. 

“We are excited about the group we are putting together, both with our important core of returning players that our fans love to cheer for and with several newcomers who will be important contributors this year as well,” Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “The new division offers lots of excitement and challenges, starting with what we know will be an intense rivalry with the SeaWolves, and getting more chances to play top caliber teams like Kansas City and Milwaukee. Every game is going to have big implications for our goal of a post-season berth.”

The Tropics have taken their bid for a playoff spot their first two years right down to the final week of the regular season, only to be denied. After winning eight games in their inaugural season, the team improved to 10 wins last year. 

In addition to Orlando, the Dallas Sidekicks are returning to the pitch after a one-year hiatus, and the Greater Toronto Area has a team of its own in suburban Mississauga, giving the 17-team league a full North American footprint with teams in Canda, The United States and Mexico. The Syracuse Silver Knights also made a short move down the New York State Thruway, playing the 2018-19 season becoming Utica City FC under the umbrella of the highly-successful American Hockey League Utica Comets.

To purchase BOGO tickets for the opener for a limited time by CLICKING HERE. For more information, visit, or for information on season-tickets, call 863-240-0101.