Tropics look to start new win streak with quick trip to Texas to take on Dallas Sidekicks Friday

by Brian Ackley

ALLEN, Texas –   After starting the season with a team-record six wins, the Florida Tropics will look to start a new Major Arena Soccer League win streak Friday night when they travel to Texas to meet the Dallas Sidekicks. 

Florida tasted defeat for the first time Jan. 31 in an 8-4 loss to the Ambush in St. Louis, and have been idle since. The Tropics, at 6-1 overall, sit in second place in the MASL this season, behind the 2-0 Ontario Fury. Standings are being decided by winning percentage because teams will not be playing the same number of regular season games because of the ongoing national pandemic.

The Tropics have shut out the Sidekicks in two straight games, the only two blankings in Florida history. The most recent came at home on Jan. 6, an 8-0 whitewash backstopped by goalkeeper Huga Silva. In the only game played between the two sides in the 2019-20 season, Florida took a 7-0 win in Dallas behind the play of Brett Petricek. 

In fact, the last time Dallas (1-4) scored a goal against Florida was on Jan 6, 2017, recorded by Cameron Brown in the fourth quarter of that contest. The Sidekicks have gone 1:30:51 of game play without scoring a goal against Florida, a Tropics team record

The game will be a 7:35 CST start, with a pay-per-view broadcast available through Facebook Live by using the link

Ian Bennett, on loan from the Milwaukee Wave who are not playing this season, leads Florida with 10 goals and five assists. Captain Victor Parreiras is second on the team in scoring with 13 points on five goals and eight assists. Dallas is led by Felipe De Sousa who has seven goals.

After Friday, the Tropics will be hosting hosting a four-team tournament Feb. 18-21 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland that will also feature the San Diego Sockers, Tacoma Stars and Ontario Fury who will combine to play six games in four days, starting Thursday, Feb. 18 as the Tropics kick off against the Tacoma Stars at 3 p.m. Additional Florida starts will be 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19 vs. San Diego and Sunday Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. vs. Ontario. 

The league is announcing schedules only a month at a time because of the pandemic restrictions, but the final games of the regular season will be played by April 18. An announcement on a schedule for March will be forthcoming shortly. 

Single game tickets are available through the team’s Facebook page (click on the event link), or by calling 863-240-0101. Tickets will also be available gameday at the RP Funding Center box office. The team and arena have devised a socially distanced seating plan that can accommodate approximately 1,500 fans per game. Facial coverings will be required for those in attendance.