Tropics MASL stars lift Florida to first-round playoff win, 2-1 over Florida Premier

by Brian Ackley

NAPLES Fla. – Two stars of the Florida Tropics Major Arena Soccer League team – which won that league’s 2021 regular season title – lifted the outdoor Tropics to a 2-1 win Saturday in the opening round of the United Premier Soccer League playoffs.

Defender Lucas Montelares and forward Victor Parreiras converted set piece goals to lift Florida into the finals of the UPSL’s Florida West divisional playoffs next weekend in the win over a tough Florida Premier FC squad. The two teams had split their two regular season games.

Montelares isn’t usually a goal scorer, but often moves forward on corner kicks, as he did in the first minute of first-half stoppage time Saturday in the neutral site game in Naples. With the ball sent to the far side of the box, Montelares delivered a perfect one-time flick to the back post for a 1-0 lead.

Parreiras, often deadly on free kick situations, did not miss when the Tropics were given that opportunity from 22-yards out directly in front of the FPFC goal for a 2-0 advantage. That goal came less than 10 minutes into the second half.

Florida Premier made it a close game getting a penalty kick goal in the 76th minute, but the Tropics defense stiffened after that and were able to successfully run out the clock to improve to 9-2-2 on the season.

The Tropics will host the PSE Conqujistadores for the Florida West playoff championship on Saturday, June 26 at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale. Kickoff will be 7 p.m. Admission is free; parking is $10 for single occupant vehicles, and $20 for multi-occupant vehicles. 

The two teams split a pair of regular season games, with the Tropics closing out their regular season at Lake Myrtle earlier this month with a 7-0 win over a short-handed PSE side.