Tropics set team record in rolling past St. Louis Ambush, 8-3

by Brian Ackley

ST CHARLES, Mo. – The Florida Tropics set a franchise record for best start to a season with its sixth consecutive win as they rolled past the St. Louis Ambush 8-3 in a Major Arena Soccer League showdown Friday night in St. Louis.

The Tropics improved to 6-0, and going back to last season, the defending Eastern Conference champions have now won eight straight games, one short of a club record. St. Louis, in second place in the MASL, fell to 3-3.

Lat year’s leading scorer, Ricardo Carvalho, had the only two goals in the first half, with both goals coming off restarts at the top of the St. Louis box. The scores came little more than a minute apart midway through the quarter.

The visitors broke it open in the third quarter, getting goals from captain Victor Parreiras, Bruno Enrique and Chad Vandegriffe. Down 5-0, St. Louis went to a sixth-attacker for the entire fourth quarter. After Richard Schmermund got the Ambush on the board two minutes into the final frame. , the MASL’s leading scorer Ian Bennett got a hustle-goal beating the sixth attacker, former Tropics defender Stefan Miajatovich to a loose ball at the top of the St. Louis box to make it 6-1.

Zack Reget and Guilherme rounded out the scoring attack, while JT. Thomas and Max Ferdinand each added sixth-attacker scores for St. Louis, who actually outshot the Tropics, 27-26. Carvalho added an assist to lead all scorers with three points, while Parreiras also picked up an assist for a two-point night.

Florida played without MASL defender of the year Drew Ruggles, who will be out several weeks with injury. Lucas Montelares is also sidelined for the Tropics presently, who will rematch with St. Louis Sunday in St. Louis. Kickoff will be at 3:05 p.m. CST.

Florida’s Hugo Silva, who came into the game leading the MASL in wins, goals against, and saves percentage, picked up the victory in goal, was credited with 15 saves, including stopping a shootout attempt in the final minute of the game. 

A broadcast of Sunday’s game will be available on a pay-per-view basis ($7.99 per game) at

After this weekend, the Tropics will be off until the Sidekicks host Florida on Feb. 12, before the Tropics return home to meet Tacoma (Feb. 18), San Diego (Feb. 19) and Ontario (Feb 21) as the RP Funding Center hosts six MASL games in four days,. 

The league is announcing schedules only a month at a time because of the pandemic restrictions, but the final games of the regular season will be played by April 18.

Single game tickets are available through the team’s Facebook page (click on the event link), or by calling 863-240-0101. Tickets will also be available gameday at the RP Funding Center box office. The team and arena have devised a socially distanced seating plan that can accommodate approximately 1,500 fans per game. Facial coverings will be required for those in attendance.