Tropics stun MASL champion Wave in OT, 5-4, to stay undefeated for home opener Saturday
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin –Undefeated and leaders of the Major Arena Soccer League's Eastern Conference after three road games, the “new and improved” Florida Tropics are living up to the pre-season hype.
Retooling their roster with 12 free agent signings and a trade for the MASL Rookie of the Year following last season, The Tropics stunned the defending league champion Milwaukee Wave Saturday night in Milwaukee, 5-4 in overtime.
It was the first overtime win in Tropics history. Milwaukee (1-1) has only lost once at home in each of the last two regular seasons, and it was the first time in six years they dropped a home opener.
Former Wave Ricardinho Sobreira, one of the dozen free agent signings, threaded a perfect back post pass to Guilherme who banged in the game winner 2:42 into overtime. It is the team's first ever 3-0 start, and also ties the franchise record for most consecutive wins.
“It's not an exaggeration to say this is the biggest win Tropics history,” Coach Clay Roberts said. “We worked really, really hard and stuck to the game plan which was really the difference. Having said that, it's still just one game, we have to build on it and continue to play as a team and within the system, or the 'W' won't mean that much”
Milwaukee led 2-1 at the half – with Antonio Manfut getting Florida's lone goal of the first two quarters – before markers by Rafa Alves and Zack Reget put the Tropics up 3-2 with 10 minutes gone in the third.
Alex Bradley and Guilherme Vega, with his second of the night, gave Milwaukee a 4-3 lead late in the third but Ricardo Carvalho roofed a rebound of a Victor Parreiras shot at 6:36 of the fourth to tie the game at 4-all to set the stage for the OT heroics.
Florida, now 3-0, will open the home portion of its schedule this Saturday against the Orlando SeaWolves in a 5:05 p.m. start at the RP Funding Center. The game will be broadcast live on Tampa's WTTA-TV (Great 38), and online at www.masl.tv. For more information, including tickets for Saturday's game, visit fltropics.com or call 863-240-0101.