Tropics back on pitch seeking to cool down Harrisburg Heat

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND , Fla. – After their longest hiatus of the season, the Florida Tropics get back on the pitch Friday night at SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center when they host the Harrisburg Heat. Kickoff is at 7:35 p.m.

The Tropics last were in action on Sunday, Jan. 28 when the fell to Syracuse 9-5, in upstate New York. The Silver Knights are a half game up on the Florida for second place in the eastern division. Syracuse (9-7) has six regular season games remaining, and the Tropics (8-7) have seven, including their last four on the road.

This is the third meeting of the season between the Heat and the Tropics. Florida has won each of the first two, 7-5 at home and 5-4 at the State Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. Last year, the Heat were 4-0 against Florida, in making the MASL playoffs.

The Tropics will wear special red uniforms that are available for fans to make bids on, with proceeds going to the American Heart Association. The silent auction minimum bid price starts at $75. Go to www.fltropics.com/ahajerseyauction to make a bid. Bidding ends Feb. 11.

Florida is led by Ricardo Diegues, who in 15 games has 20 goals and 12 assists. Captain Freddy Moojen is second in scoring with 13 goals and 11 assists. Thiago Freitas has five goals and 25 assists in 17 games to lead the Heat, who are led in goals by Ricardo Carvallho and Lucio Gonzaga with 14 each.

After Friday's game, Florida will close the home portion of its 2017-18 season next weekend with a Feb. 16 and 17 doubleheader against the San Diego Sockers before playing its final four games on the road, including a Feb. 24 rematch with the Heat in Harrisburg.

All Tropics games home and away are broadcast live at www.masl.tv. Tickets for the remaining three home games are available at www.fltropics.com, or by calling 863-240-0101.