Tropics open 2021-22 MASL season in Baltimore, home opener is Dec. 18 vs. Ontario Fury

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Florida Tropics, presented by Bond Clinic, will open its sixth season in the Major Arena Soccer League on Dec. 4 on the road against eastern division rival Baltimore, before returning to the RP Funding Center on Dec. 18 to kick off its home season against the Ontario Fury.

In all, the Tropics 24-game schedule runs through April 3, and will feature all weekend dates for home games in Lakeland.

That will include an unprecedented nine-game home stand starting with the Fury on Dec. 18 and again Dec. 19. The team will not be on the road again for almost two full months, until February 12 when they visit the Dallas Sidekicks. Florida will also end up  playing 9 of its last 11 games on the road before the playoffs, which as of yet is undecided how it will be structured and who will qualify. 

“We are excited for another season of indoor soccer,” Coach Clay Roberts noted. “We have a schedule that will require us to be focused and prepared each and every week. We have an exciting roster and look forward to the challenges ahead as we strive for a championship.”

Also making visits during the homestand are Utica, St. Louis, and doubleheader weekends with Harrisburg and Dallas. Unusually, the Tropics don’t have a single game against the Kansas City Heat, and just one against the Milwaukee Wave, but will play the California-based Ontario Fury and San Diego Sockers a combined total of four times. 

Also unbalanced is the divisional play. The Baltimore Blast, Utica and Harrisburg Heat along with Florida will make up the eastern division. All play each other a total of six times, but the Tropics only have four games each against their divisional foes.

Two other four-team divisions will make up the rest of the league, down from the 17 teams that played that last season prior to  in the MASL in 2019-20. Only seven teams, including Florida, dressed for the 2021 season. The Tropics were declared the Eastern Conference champions with an 18-3 mark when the season and playoffs were canceled because of the Covid 19 outbreak.

Making up the central division will be Dallas, Kansas City, Milwaukee and St. Louis while the west will consist of Chihuahua, Mexico, Ontario, San Diego and Tacoma. 

In an abbreviated 2021 campaign, the Tropics were one of just seven teams to play, and earned the regular season championship with a 10-3 record before falling in the playoffs to the eventual league champion San Diego Sockers, who Florida will play just once in the regular season this year, in San Diego. 

Here is the complete Tropics schedule for the 2021-22 MASL season:

Saturday, Dec. 4   at Baltimore

Sunday, Dec. 5, at Utica

Saturday, Dec. 18 vs. Ontario

Sunday, Dec. 19 vs. Ontario

Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Utica

Sunday, Jan. 9  vs. Utica

Friday, Jan. 14 vs. Harrisburg

Sunday, Jan. 16 vs. Harrisburg

Friday, Jan. 21 vs. Dallas

Sunday, Jan. 23 vs. Dallas

Sunday, Jan. 30 vs. St. Louis

Saturday, Feb. 12 at Dallas

Saturday, Feb. 26 at Baltimore

Sunday, Feb. 27 at Harrisburg

Saturday, March 5 at Milwaukee

Sunday, March 6 at St. Louis

Sunday, March 13 vs. Tacoma

Wednesday, March 16 at Ontario

Sunday March 20 vs. Baltimore

Friday, March 25  at Harrisburg

Sunday, March 27 at Utica

Wednesday, ,March 30 at Ontario

Thursday, March 31 at San Diego

Sunday, April 3 vs. Baltimore

Home Sunday games start at 3  p.m. The season-opener -- the lone Saturday home date -- will be a 5 p.m. kickoff and Friday games start at 7 p.m. Information on ticket plans for the upcoming campaign will be announced by the Tropics on Monday, Oct. 11.

The full MASL schedule can be found here: MASL schedule.