Tropics hoping three times is a charm for home side when Syracuse visits Saturday night

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – For the third time this season, the Florida Tropics will match up with the Syracuse Silver Knights, and for the first time the home side will be looking for a win.

Syracuse visits SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center Saturday night for a 7:35 p.m. Kickoff. On Dec. 1, Florida lost a 4-2 halftime lead in falling 6-5 on SYKES Field. However, eight nights later, the Syracuse blew their own 4-2 lead, allowing the Tropics seven straight goals in a 9-4 loss at the OnCenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse.

It is an important divisional game as well. Florida, which will hit the halfway point of its 22-game regular season, is 6-4 and in second place in the east division, one game up on the Silver Knights who come in a 4-4, and in third place in the division.

Ricardo Diegues is leading the Florida charge with four goals and four assists in his last two games,, wins over Harrisburg and St. Louis. As the Tropics looks for a season-best three-game win streak. For the year, Diegues has 11 goals and 11 assists, ranking seventh in the MASL in overall points.

Syracuse is led by Joey Tavernese's 11 goals and nine assists.

Saturday's game is also expected to be the debut of the Tropics latest signee, Ricardinho Cavalcante, who in 274 career regular season arena soccer games, had scored 117 goals and recorded 180 assists. Ricardinho, who plays using his first name, most recently suited up for the Dallas Sidekicks for the last five seasons, and his best season came just last year when he netted 10 goals and 17 assists in 19 games. He was also a teammate of Tropics Coach Clay Roberts with the Philadelphia Kixx for two years between 2008 and 2010.

Victor Parreiras had three goals and Piota Sliwa a save percentage of .818 in the Tropics 9-4 win. Kenardo Forbes had three straight second half goals to pace Syracuse in their 6-5 win.

Tickets are available at, or by calling 863-240-0101. The game, as are all Florida games home and away, will be broadcast live at