Tropics sign veteran goal scorer, playmaker Ricardinho

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics SC have added to their offensive firepower with the signing of long-time arena soccer star Ricardinho Cavalcante, who in 274 career regular season arena soccer games, had scored 117 goals and recorded 180 assists. Per team and league policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ricardinho, who plays using his first name, most recently suited up for the Dallas Sidekicks for the last five seasons, and his best season came just last year when he netted 10 goals and 17 assists in 19 games. He was also a teammate of Tropics Coach Clay Roberts with the Philadelphia Kixx for two years between 2008 and 2010.

Ricardinho has also made stops with the Milwaukee Wave, California Cougars, Detroit Ignition, Omaha Vipers and Baltimore Blast.

His most prolific year came with the Detroit Ignition in 2007-8 when he scored 21 goals in 23 games to go along with 15 assists. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he started his professional arena career with the Dallas Sidekicks in 2003-04, with 13 goals and 23 assists in 36 games played.

“He has great vision and skills to get the ball to the right player, and he's a good finisher in his own right as well,” Tropics coach Clay Roberts said. “He is another weapon in our arsenal is we continue to build our offensive depth which will prove to be critical as we move into the heart of the season.”

He will not make this weekend's road trip, which features games Saturday night in Syracuse and Sunday afternoon in Baltimore. He likely will make his debut Saturday, Dec. 23 when Florida hosts the Harrisburg Heat.