Tropics Officially Sign Veteran Defender Jose Birche

by Andrew Ross

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics, who will start their third season in the Major Arena Soccer League in early December, have officially signed veteran defender Jose Luiz Birche. Per league and team policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nicknamed “Bazooka” because of his heavy left-footed shot, Birche has spent the last two seasons with the Harrisburg Heat, and was part of the 2014-15 arena champion Monterrey La Raza. He is a native of Pennapolis, Brazil.

In 31 total games with the Heat, the defender scored nine goals and dished out five assists. In four total years in Monterrey, in two different two-year stints, Birche appeared in 74 games, scoring 48 goals and getting 18 assists. He sat out the 2015-16 season because of a knee injury. In 2010, he played for the Missouri Comets (now the Kansas City Comets) where he appeared in nine games scoring one goal and getting three assists.

“Jose brings not only solid defensive skills, but the always present threat to move forward and become part of the attack at any moment,” Tropics Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “It's an added dimension to our back line that we have been looking for. His veteran presence combined with his physical skills and knowledge of the game are all assets he will bring to our lineup.”

Florida will play a 24-game home and away schedule which runs from very early December to the end of March. A complete schedule will be released this fall. For more information, go to