Tropics provide holiday cheer for Florida fans with 7-5 win over Harrisburg

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – Ricardo Diegues scored once and picked up three assists, and Mauricio Salles returned to the line up with a two-goal night, as the Florida Tropics defeated the Harrisburg Heat, 7-5, in Major Arena Soccer League action Saturday night.

Diegues and Salles both now have eight goals on the season, tops on the Tropics, who improved to 5-4 on the season, and remain in second place in the tight eastern division.

Harrisburg actually opened the scoring, with Elmo Neto scoring twice in the first six minutes. But the Tropics got the next three, and eventually opened the lead to 7-3 before Harrisburg scored two late goals.

Lucio Gonzaga also scored twice for the Heat, who fell to 4-6. Florida also got goals from Anthony Arico, Freddy Moojen and Victor Parreiras.  Danny Diprima got the other Harrisburg marker.

Piota Sliwa picked up his fifth win of the season. Florida outshot the Heat 33-24.

Up next, Florida will hit the road for a New Year's eve matinee against the St. Louis Ambush, while Harrisburg will be at Syracuse Dec. 29. All games are broadcast live at