Tropics played MASL finalists tough during regular season

by Brian Ackley

To be sure,  the Florida Tropics SC and coach Clay Roberts would rather be in the Major Arena Soccer League championship finals than watching them.

The Baltimore Blast will square off against Soles de Sonora or the league title in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Blast will host game one at Friday night at 8:05 p.m., Game two, and if necessary a 15-minute mini-game if the two teams split, will be in Sonora Sunday starting at 9 p.m. eastern time. All the action will be broadcast live at

The Tropics were 0-3 against the Blast this season, with all three losses coming very early on. But the first-year Florida team was very competitive in two of them, trailing by just one goal in both of those games going into the fourth quarter.

Florida did not meet Sonora this regular season, but did win in their only game against a Pacific division foe, a 6-5 win over the San Diego Sockers in the Tropics first-ever game. Ricardo Diegues capped a stunning fourth quarter rally with a game-winning bicycle kick goal with just 31 seconds to play. The Sockers advanced to the Western Conference finals where they fell to Sonora two games to none.

The Tropics battled for a playoff spot right down the final weekend of the regular season, ultimately missing out on the postseason, but finishing with a respectable 8-12 record, including a 5-2 mark on a seven-game homestand in January and February.