Tropics will be back on pitch to defend UPSL outdoor championship starting Saturday

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – For the first time in almost 18 months, the Florida Tropics Presented by Bond Clinic will take to the outdoor pitch to defend its United Premier Soccer League national championship starting Saturday, Sept. 19 with a road game at the PSE Conquistadors.

The lineup will feature many of the same players that teamed to go 18-0-0 in the UPSL’s Spring 2019 season – which culminated in a national title in suburban Dallas in July, 2019 -- including Major Arena Soccer League stars Victor Parreiras, Hugo Silva, Ricardo Carvalho and Lucas Monelares, Expecting to join them this fall will be MASL teammates Drew Ruggles and midfielder Antonio Manfut.

MASL defender Lucas Teixeira will be back as the Tropics outdoor coach. 

“We can’t wait to get back out there and defend our title,” Teixeira said. “We’re excited to have so many of the guys back that were part of our first national championship team. And then to add some outstanding new talent is great for our fans who have been wanting to see some of their favorite players for a while now.” 

Three members of the Tropics 2 UPSL playoff team from earlier in the fall also are on the roster, including Kewin Duque, Giauco Trajano and Fernando Moron, along with a newcomer from Southeastern University, Bruno Henrique.

The home opener will be Sunday, Sept. 29 against Huracan FC. All home games will be played at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale. The 12-game regular season schedule will feature six home and six away contests. Home Sunday games (four) start at 6 p.m. while Saturday home matches (two) will kick off at 7 p.m.

After opening on the road, the team’s next five games are all at home including a first-ever matchup against Winter Haven United FC on Oct. 3. The Tropics are once again playing in the UPSL’s Division 1. They are part of the Southeastern Conference’s Florida West division.  The Conquistadors are based in Lakewood Ranch, while Huracan FC is out of Tampa Bay and Dragon City is out of Sarasota.

The UPSL canceled its spring season because of the national coronavirus outbreak. The MASL Tropics had their indoor season halted in mid-March because of the same reason. The team was declared MASL Eastern Conference Champions with an 18-3 mark, beating out defending league champion Milwaukee Wave, Utica City and Baltimore Blast.

Parking will be $10 for single-person vehicles and $20 for multi-person vehicles. Admission to the game is free. Following is the complete fall season schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 19, at PSE Conquistadors, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 27 vs. Huracan FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3, vs. Winter Haven United FC, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 11 vs. Dragon City FC, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct 18 vs. PSE Conquistadors, 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 1 vs. Sporting Tampa Bay FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 7 at St. Petersburg Aztecs FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 14 at Huracan FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 21 @ Winter Haven United FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 28 @ Dragon City FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. St. Petersburg Aztecs, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 19 at Sporting Tampa Bay FC, 6 p.m. 

ABOUT THE FLORIDA TROPICS SC: Founded in 2016, the Florida Tropics SC Presented by Bond Clinic fields teams in both the United Premier Soccer League (outdoor at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale) and Major Arena Soccer League (indoor at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world). The Tropics are starting their second season of UPSL play, and will start their fifth season in the MASL as defending Eastern Conference champions this winter.

ABOUT BOND CLINIC: Founded in 1948 by Dr. Benjamin, Bond Clinic, P.A. is proud to be one of the first businesses established in downtown Winter Haven.  They are a multi-specialty medical group, currently offering 28 specialties and over 90 providers.  Bond Clinic has 10 campuses which are located in the heart of Central Florida and our mission is to provide quality health care in a compassionate, ethical and efficient manner to this region.  In addition, we are committed to our community and driven to increase access to medical care while reducing the cost to our patients.