Wins keep coming as Tropics 2 rally with five-second half goals to win inaugural game

by Brian Ackley

The wins just keep on coming for the Tropics.

The Florida Tropics SC 2 debuted in United Premier Soccer League Division II league Thursday night, rallying from a 3-1 halftime deficit to roar past Kissimmee-based Dispora United 6-3.

The Tropics 2 are a new side designed as a developmental team for the organization's national championship UPSL Division 1 side which is slated to open defense of its title at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale on Saturday, April 18, and its Major Arena Soccer League team by playing indoor friendlies next season.

Tropics 2 Coach Alex Flores said a few inspirational words, and more importantly a trio of tactical halftime substitutions, turned the tide, along with some timely netminding.

“Goalkeeper Jason Leon had about five one-on-one saves that kept us in the game,” Flores said. “It was an amazing performance by our goalkeeper and great team effort from the entire team after coming back from a 3-1 score.”

Rodrigo Kaufmman opened the Tropics scoring in the seventh minute on a penalty kick, but it was the team's only score of the half. Diaspora got goals in the 21st, 32nd and 43rd minute to take its halftime lead.

Kaufmann started the rally converting a free kick in the 51st minute and the equalizer came from Rapha Nascimento, an original member of the Florida Tropics Major Arena Soccer League team in its first season, headed in a corner kick in the 64th minute.

The winner came from Axel Flores on a pretty effort off a long pass from the back line in the 71st minute, with insurance markers coming from Daniel Aular on a breakaway in the 77th minute and Paul Rodriguez in the 82nd minute.

The team is 1-0, and part of the 15 team UPSL's Southeastern Conference's Florida Central Division. They were scheduled on the road March 21 and March 28 against Inter Orlando 2 and Royal Palms Soccer Club, but the UPSL has postponed all games through the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak. The team is set to return to the Northeast Sports Complex in Davenport, its home pitch, on April 2 to host the Orlando-based Central Florida Mix. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m.