Tropics sign Aristodemo, three others in time for 2017-18 campaign

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics have announced the signings of four players for the upcoming 2017-18 season, including two familiar faces and two new comers.

Joining the team for its second season in the Major Arena Soccer League, pending final league approval, are Robbie Aristodemo, Pedro Ivo Dias, Melvin Boateng and Rodrigo Alfen.

The Tropics will open the regular season with a two-game road trip this weekend, with a Saturday night stop in Texas against the RGV Barracudas and a Sunday date in Monterrey against the Flash. The home-opener is Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:35 against the Cedar Rapids Rampage on SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Aristodemo is back for his second year, after joining the Tropics last December. The veteran midfielder was a steadying presence, and chipped in with a pair of goals and an assist in 11 games. In his arena soccer career, he has appeared in 269 games, starting with the 2002-03 San Diego Sockers, and has 89 goals and 112 assists.

Ivo Dias appeared in 13  games this past summer for the team's sister franchise, the Lakeland Tropics of the USL's Premier Development League, logging the sixth most minutes on the team. Ivo Dias netted 22 goals and recorded 12 assists during his three year playing career at SEU. The Rio de Janeiro native was also named 2015 Sun Conference Player of the Year, a First Team All-Conference selection his junior and senior seasons, and a two-time NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.

Boateng, a 2016 Saint Leo graduate, was a three-year member of the men's soccer team where he competed in 35 games with 34 starts for the Green and Gold. The Kumasi, Ghana native was a midfielder for the Lions where he scored two goals and tallied three assists in his career. He appeared in five games this past summer for the PDL Tampa Bay Rowdies U23 side.

Alfen is a veteran Brazilian striker who earlier in his career was a member of the country's U23 team.

Tickets for all 11 Tropics home games are now available by calling the team's offices at 863-240-0101, or online at All games, home and away, are broadcast live at