Van Der Luit gets equalizer as UPSL outdoor Tropics secure road tie against Aztecs

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While the Major Arena Soccer League Florida Tropics are battling for a league championship, the United Premier Soccer League's outdoor Tropics team opened their 10-game regular season last weekend in St. Petersburg, forging a 1-1 tie with the alway tough Aztecs. 

A standout at Southeastern University in Lakeland, the Chicago native found the back of the net in the 80th minute to help Florida avoid a season-opening loss.

As a senior for the Fire, he was the team's leading scorer with  15 goals in 16 games. For his career at Southeastern, under Coach Clay Roberts who also coaches the Tropics MASL side, he scored 35 goals in 54 career games.

He was the Fire's leading scorer in his sophomore season and second-leading goal getter in his  freshman campaign. Injuries cut short his junior season, although he still netted three goals in just four games. He has played outdoors for the Tropics for several seasons now. 

The UPSL team will stay on the road for one more game in April -- that coming this Satturday against Leg A-Z international who is atop the eight-team Florida West Premier division where the Tropics reside --  before hosting their home opener on Sunday, May 1 at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex against Florida Premier FC. The Tropics will be at home for three straight Saturday night games starting May 8 against Azzurri Storm.

In between, they will be on the road one more time on April 28 to take on the Clearwater Chargers SC, Kickoff for that game is 8 p.m. at the Countryside Sports Complex. 

                                         GP   W   L   T   PTS

Leg A-Z International     3     3    0    0     9

St. Petersburg Aztecs   1      1    0    0     3

Lakeland United             1      1    0    0     3

Florida Premier FC        1       1    0    0    3

Naples City FC               3       1   2    0     3

Florida Tropics               1       0   0   1     1

Azzurri Storm                    4       0   3   1     1

Clearwater Chargers    2       0   2   0     0