Tropics look to get back to winning ways when Kansas City Comets vist Saturday

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Tropics SC will look to snap a two-game losing streak when the Kansas City Comets make a visit Saturday night to SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Kickoff will be at 7:35 p.m.

Florida comes in after losing a 5-2 fourth-quarter to the St. Louis Ambush in a 7-5 loss, and a 10-9 overtime loss Jan. 6 against Syracuse to open the three-game homestand.

Forward Mauricio Salles, who had three goals against the Silver Knights, did not dress because of a leg injury against St. Louis. He is expected to be in the lineup Saturday night, while teammate Rafael Alves, a defender who played in 67 games in the North American Soccer League from 2013-15, is expected to dress for the first time all season after coming back from a leg injury as well. Lucas Coutinho, who has seven goals in 10 games, is expected to miss his second straight game with a leg injury.

Ricardo Diegues leads the Tropics with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. Salles is second on the team in goals with 12, while captain Freddy Moojen and Victor Parreiras have 11 each. Leo Gibson leads the Kansas City attack with 13 goals and 19 assists for 21 points. Bryan Perez has 11 goals and Kiel Williams 10.

Florida is just 3-4 at home this season, and will hit the road next weekend for two games before returning for their final three games at home in February. The Tropics will have two important eastern division games, starting at Harrisburg on Jan. 27 followed by a visit to Syracuse on Jan. 28.

All Tropics games home and away are broadcast live at Tickets for remaining regular season home games are available at, or by calling 863-240-0101, including for Saturday's game, and games Feb. 9 vs. Harrisburg and Feb. 17 and 18 against the San Diego Sockers. Florida closes the regular season with four games on the road.