Tropics still chasing No. 1 playoff seed with back-to-back games in Ontario, San Diego

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Tropics will hope to keep their slim hopes for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Major Arena Soccer League post-season when they visit the West coast for the second time in three weeks, with back-to-back games against the Ontario Fury and the San Diego Sockers, the team they are chasing in the standings.

Kickoff is 10:05 p.m. PDT for both games, starting tonight in Ontario and then on Thursday in San Diego. The games are being streamed now on the Twitch platform only.

 This is the final week of the regular season. In order for Florida to get the No. 1 overall seed, they would have to win its three remaining games, while San Diego (21-0-1) would have to lose its remaining two. Florida will close the regular season at home against the Baltimore Blast on Sunday, April 3 while the San Diego Sockers host the Ontario Fury Sunday as well. 

The Tropics are assured of no worse than the No. 2 overall seed, and depending on results of games this weekend, could still meet Ontario, the Milwaukee Wave, Dallas Sidekicks or St. Louis Ambush in the opening round of the MASL playoffs starting the weekend of April 8-10. 

By being one of the top two seeds, the Tropics would have home field advantage for the first two-rounds of the playoffs, which are a home-and-home series. If the two teams split those games, a 15-minute mini-game immediately follows the conclusion of game two. The second game of a Tropics opening round series is tentatively set for Sunday afternoon at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. It would be the Tropics first ever home playoff game. 

The Tropics would have qualified for their first ever postseason in 2019-20 when they were 18-3, and declared Eastern Conference champions, when the last three regular season games and all the playoffs were canceled because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Last year, the Tropics won the MASL’s regular season championship, but fell in the first round in two neutral site games against the eventual champion San Diego Sockers. That means 

The California games will feature some of the top offensive talent in the MASL. Florida’s Victor Parreiras is third in the league in overall points with 47 (26 goals, 21 assists), while Ontario’s Franck Tayou is fourth at 46 points and fourth in goals with 32. Brandon Escoto of San Diego is tied for fifth overall in points with 44 (23, 21). 

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