Veteran defender J.P. Reyes signs new two-year deal to stay with Tropics

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Florida Tropics have re-signed one of their original defenders to a new contract starting with the upcoming Major Arena Soccer League season which kicks off  Dec. 10 in Baltimore.

Free agent J.P. Reyes, who scored a goal in the team’s first-ever game -- an upset 6-5 win over the San Diego Sockers on Nov. 11, 2016 – will continue to play with the Tropics for the next two years. No other details of the contract agreement, per league and team policy, will be released. 

Reyes made just one game appearance in 2019-20, but saw a resurgence in his game and playing time last year, making 23 starts for Florida. In his MASL career he has made 88 career regular season starts, 17 with the Syracuse Silver Knights  with the Rochester Lancers in 2014-15 before signing with Florida for its inaugural season.

He has five goals and five assists in his indoor career, but more importantly 72 career blocked shots, including a season best 28 in the Tropics 2016-17 season.

“He was great for us last year,” Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “To have a veteran player with us – and not a typical veteran where he’s getting slower or getting worse he’s getting better -- is fantastic. His veteran savviness and demeanor with team is a great asset to have back. His locker room presence is felt game in and game out.”

A native of the Greater Orlando area – he attended William R. Boone High School where he earned all state honors -- Reyes first debuted with Syracuse in the 2011-12 season.  

“It’s a new season, but the same mindset” Reyes said. “I feel like we still have unfinished business and we want to pick up where we left off. I’m excited to be back.”

After its season opener on the road against the Blast, Florida will open the home portion of its 24-game regular season on Saturday, Dec. 17, when they host Utica in a 5:05 p.m. start, the first of three-straight home games during the holiday season, with back-to-back games against the Baltimore Blast Dec. 21 and 23 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

For season ticket information, call 863-240-0101 or visit The Tropics advanced to the MASL championship series last spring before falling to the San Diego Sockers, and have the most regular season wins of any MASL team over the last three seasons combined.