Two-time defending champion Baltimore Blast visit Tropics for early-season showdown

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics FC will host the two-time defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Baltimore Blast in an early-season eastern division showdow Saturday, Nov. 18, on SYKES Field at the RP Funding Center. Kick off is set for 7:35 p.m.

The Tropics enter 2-1, coming off a 6-5 win in their home opener against the Cedar Rapids Rampage, led by MASL Player of the Week Lucas Montelares and Week Three All MASL team honorable mention pick Ricardo Diegues. Montelares had a goal and an assist while Diegues scored twice.

Baltimore played the Syracuse Silver Knights Friday night in Baltimore, after opening the year with an 8-7 win against the Rampage on Nov. 10. The Blast trace their history to the original Major Indoor Soccer League when the Blast entered the league for the 1980-81 season. The City of Baltimore has had a professional indoor soccer team every year since, claiming eight league titles in that span.

They defeated Sonora each of the last two years, with the Blast winning the second title in overtime last spring, when Tony Donatelli scored just 28 seconds into the extra period to clinch their crown.

Florida is led by Captain Freddy Moojen with two goals and five assists. Ricardo Diegues comes in with four-goals and two assists, while newcomer Mauricio Salles leads the team in goals with five, to go along with one assist.

Baltimore is led by Vinny Dantas who had two goals and two assists against Cedar Rpaids. Juan Periera added two goals and an assist.

This is the first of five straight against teams from the eastern division. Florida will host Syracuse Dec. 1 to conclude this three-game homestand, and then will head north to meet Syracuse Dec. 9 and Baltimore Dec. 10. Baltimore will make a return visit to SYKES Field Dec. 15, followed by a road game Dec. 23 in Harrisburg. Florida was 3-1 against Syracuse last year, but 0-7 combined against the Blast and Heat.

Tickets are available by calling the team's offices at 863-605-4131, or online at The game, as are all Tropics games home and away, will be broadcast live at