Tropics look to get back on track as Harrisburg Heat visit for two this weekend
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Florida Tropics, presented by Bond Clinic and now in their seventh season of play in the Major Arena Soccer League, will look to break a rare two-game losing streak when they host the Harrisburg Heat for a pair of games this weekend at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
Friday’s kickoff is at 7:05 p.m. while the start Sunday is at 3:05 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on MASL TV on Twitch. The first 200 guests Friday with paid admission will get the chance to print their own t-shirt and there will be a special halftime performance by Moana Jr. and Theatre Winter Haven.
The Tropics come in having dropped two games in a row for only the second time in four seasons. Chihuahua defeated the Tropics 9-5 last Friday and Lakeland, and then Florida went west to Ontario, California, on Tuesday night, falling to the Empire Strykers 11-7.
The Tropics have only had one other two-game skid over the past three full seasons, that coming in the COVID shortened 2020-21 campaign when Florida fell in back-to-back games against Tacoma and San Diego at the RP Funding Center. Over the past three regular seasons, the Tropics (46) have had more regular season wins than any team in the MASL.
Florida will be looking to get back to its defensive ways after allowing 29 goals in the past three games. That’s a team record for most goals given up in a three-game stretch; the previous record was 28 when the Tropics won just six games in 2018-19.
Zach Reget has scored in all seven of Florida’s games so far this season, and leads the team with 10 goals. Victor Parreiras and Drew Ruggles lead in overall points with 13 each. Andrew Hoxie and Danny Diprima lead the Heat offense with two goals each while, DiPrima, Malcom Harris and Raphael Araujo all have three points each.
The Tropics set atop the east with 13 points, one point ahead of Kansas City, but the Comets have already played one more games than Florida. Harrisburg has only played three games so far, and is 1-2, last place in the seven-team eastern conference.
After this weekend’s double dip – which ends a stretch of eight games in 22 days – they will host the Milwaukee Wave in what figures to be a key east showdown next Sunday, Jan. 15 at the RP Funding Center.
Tickets for all home games are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at www.rpfundingcenter.com, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as opposed to calling the box office directly. Tickets are also available on game day at the box office.