Tropics outshot 58-14, but still come up with huge road victory in Kansas City

by Brian Ackley

INDEPENDENCE, Missouri -- The Florida Tropics scored a huge win Saturday night in Kansas City, hanging on to beat the Comets 6-5 to move into second place in the Major Arena Soccer League's East Division.

The Comets trailed 5-1 heading into the fourth, and put on a furious rally which included two late sixth attacker goals on 19 total shots over the final 15 minutes, but the Tropics got their game winner midway through the quarter from an unlikely source. Defender Mike Jones scored his first of the year on a pretty assist from Captain Victor Parreiras who returned to the lineup after a more than two-month absence , to seal the key win. 

The Tropics (10-7-3)  leap frogged the Baltimore Blast for second in the division with 33 points. The Blast stayed at 32 points after losing at home to Utica Saturday, 6-4. Kansas City, 9-8-4 fell to fifth in the division, one point behind Utica at 30 points. The Comets have 29. 

Incredibly, Florida was outshot in the game 58-14, demolishing the former record for shots on goal in a game by an opponent which was 44 by the St. Louis Ambush last January. Almost equally incredible was the fact Florida had 38 blocked shots in the game, which demolished the old mark of 24 which was set last month in a home win over Kansas City.

“Just a dedication to team defense and great perseverance. Those were the differences tonight,” Florida Coach Clay Roberts said. “It’s really tough to win on the road in this league, so to come in here and get three points is a reward for being disciplined for most of the game and taking advantage of opportunities.”

Milwaukee leads the east by four points over Florida. The Wave, Tropics and Blast have all played one less game than Utica and Kansas City.

Rafa Alves set a team record with 10 blocks, including taking a first-half shot off the goal line, and Drew Ruggles had seven. Winning goalkeeper Jorge Navarrete had 16 saves. 

Despite being outshot 25-6 at the half, Florida took a 2-0 lead to intermission on goals by Vini Dantas and Julio Varela. They stretched the lead to 5-1 on a pair of goals from Ricardo Diegues and a second by Varela before the end of the third.

Florida will be in St. Louis Sunday afternoon for a 4:05 p.m. EDT start before coming home to finish the 24-game regular season with three straight against Utica (March 26) and St. Louis (March 31 and April 2).

Home game tickets are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as opposed to calling the box office directly.