Tropics set team record for fewest goals allowed in 7-1 win over St. Louis

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – Drew Ruggles scored twice, and Hugo Silva was huge in goal as the Florida Tropics set a team record for fewest goals allowed in a Major Arena Soccer League game by defeating the St. Louis Ambush 7-1 Saturday at the RP Funding Center.

In fact, the Tropics were agonizingly close to a first-ever shutout as the Ambush's lone goal was an own goal deflected behind Silva by Gordy Gurson. Silva's performance included stopping a shootout attempt in the fourth quarter by Duduca.

Matt Clare and Ruggles (from Clare) gave Florida a 2-0 lead heading deep into the second quarter when Ruggles and Lucas Teixeira scored 26 seconds apart in the final minute of the half to take a 4-0 lead to intermission, before 4,089 fans, the largest crowd in their four-year history.

Tony Walls was credited with the St. Louis goal late in the third, but the Tropics closed the game out with three straight, as Victor Parreiras, Antonio Manfut and Ricardo Carvalho all found the back of the net.

The win was the Tropics fifth straight, which also ties a team record set earlier this year, and improves Florida's mark to 10-1, atop the MASL Eastern Conference standings. Florida is just one of three teams in the MASL with just one loss this year so far.

The team's special Star Wars themed jerseys will be available for auction through the Live Source app until 6 p.m. Monday with proceeds to benefit TOPS Soccer for local physically and mentally challenged youth players in the Lakeland area.

Florida is off to Texas for two games next weekend – Friday, Jan. 31 at Dallas and Saturday, Feb. 1 in Mesquite – before returning to host the 13-time champion San Diego Sockers on Saturday, Feb. 8. All three games will be broadcast live at, and the Feb. 8 game against San Diego will be televised live on WTTA-TV, Great 38 in Tampa. For more information, visit