Tag Archives: Lakeland

VETERAN MIDFIELDER ROBBIE ARISTODEMO TO JOIN TROPICS

The Florida Tropics SC have signed veteran indoor midfielder Robbie Aristodemo, who has 281 career points and won three titles with the defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Baltimore Blast.

The midfielder appeared in 273 games with the San Diego Sockers, Cleveland Force and Baltimore Blast, where he also served as captain. More than half his indoor experience – 143 games – came with the Blast. His offensive totals include 87 goals (one, two and three point goals) and 111 assists. He has been to five finals in the indoor game, and also played outdoor soccer for six seasons in the United Soccer League with the Toronto Lynx – where he was named team MVP and A-League Rookie of the year in his first season – and Seattle Sounders.
As a native of Etobicoke, Ontario, and graduate from the University of Tulsa, Aristodemo has played for all the Canadian National Teams, including the under-17, under-20, under-23 and full team sides. He also played for Canada’s 2012 CONCACAF championship futsal team, making him the only Canadian to have played on all of the Canadian National Teams both outdoor and indoor.

“We are committed to winning, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to bring aboard someone of Robbie’s skill level and experience,” Tropics SC owner Andrew Haines said. “He’s a leader, and his experience in the indoor game will provide a steadying influence. He also is a strong offensive player, which will fit into our attacking and pressure style.”

Twice for the Blast he had 28 point seasons, including 15 goals and 13 assists in 28 games during the 2005-06 campaign and 10 goals and 18 assists in 2007-08. For the past six seasons, he’s served as the girl’s soccer coach at Montverde Academy in Orlando.

“I’m very excited to get back to the indoor game. I know the Tropics are aiming high, even as an expansion team. I’ve seen them play and have been impressed with their level of skill,” Aristodemo said. He will join the team once his deal is finalized and approved by the league.“I think my experience and passion for the indoor game will be a great match, and I look forward to exciting things for the franchise and for me.”

The Tropics will be at home Saturday, Dec. 17 against Kansas City, and then be on the road Dec. 30 and 31 at Kansas City and Cedar Rapids, before opening a seven-game home stand at the Lakeland Center on Jan. 6 against the Dallas Sidekicks. Tickets for all home game are available at http://www.fltropics.com or by calling 863-333-5353.

SEASON PREVIEW: EXPANSION STATUS DOESN’T TEMPER EXPECTATIONS

Head Coach Clay Roberts knows the Florida Tropics SC will have challenges as an expansion team in an ever-improving Major Arena Soccer League, but that doesn’t diminish the expectations for the 2016-17 season which starts Friday night, Nov. 11, at the Lakeland Center against the San Diego Sockers.

“Our owner, myself, we want to win,” Roberts says matter of factly. “We’ve worked hard to put together the best roster we could. Our expectation is to win. The MASL is extremely strong. The level of the league has gotten higher and higher, so there’s no easy game for anybody. We’re going to make some youthful mistakes Friday night, we’re going to make some mistakes next week. But I will say by the time we get into the second and third games in the division, we’re going to be as sharp as anybody in the league.”

Roberts, who was a member of the 2007-08 MISL champion Philadelphia Kixx and is the head coach at nearby Southeastern University, said the roster is sprinkled with both veterans and talented youngsters, which has been training for several weeks now, including practices all week at the Lakeland Center

He believes the Tropics will be able to score goals, including the first line which includes Freddy Moojen, who had 41 goals two seasons ago for the Dallas Sidekicks and Ricardo Diegues, who netted 64 goals in 57 college games at UT-Brownsville. Indoors, in 10 games with the MASL Brownsville Barracudas, he had 10 goals and five assists. Forward Carlos Araujo rounds out the top line.

“We have a lot of individual talent, very high level, skilled players,” Roberts noted. “That’s always nice indoor, because it’s a very skillful game. We have attacking players that are going to be able to produce goals. The way we re looking to play is a dynamic, attacking style.”

Moojen will play a dual role as an assistant coach, and is a particularly important building block.

“Freddy is a key piece,” Robers said. “His experience and knowledge is going to help us out. He knows he has to play a bigger role than just a player..”

Defensively, Roberts will look to a top pairing of Anthoy Arico, a starting defender last year for the St. Louis Ambush, and Chicago native Armando Tello, who starts his third season of MASL play.

“The defensive responsibilities are something that’s going to be learned here in the first month of our season. With so many new players to the indoor game, we’ll be relying on our veteran indoor guys to lead the way and communicate well because it’s such different game when you’re transitioning from an outdoor player to an indoor player,” Roberts said. “It won’t be a season-long weakness, just something that we have to work through in the first few games.”

Goaltender Pitor Sliwa will be the backline general, after lowering his goals against average to 5.92 last year with the Ambush, He posted a 10.62 GAA two years ago with Seattle.

“The goalkeeper is so important. He’s a big piece in what we’ll be able to do this year. His knowledge of the game, his communication, we’re going to rely on that. He’s going to have to make the big saves, as any indoor keeper does,” Roberts added.

The Nov. 11 game marks the debut of the Tropics franchise for owner Andrew Haines, who for the last three years owned the St. Louis Ambush. The team averaged more than 5,600 fans a game for that period.

The Tropics will play 10 games at home this season, but it is not the first time professional indoor soccer has been played in the arena they will call home.

Interestingly, some the games greatest stars have played on the Lakeland Center turf, when the North American Soccer League Tampa Bay Rowdies played three regular season games of their indoor season there in early 1984, including a marquee matchup against the New York Cosmos. Steve Zungul, the “Lord of all Indoors”, suited up for the Golden Bay Earthquakes in one of the matches, as did the legendary Tatu who scored four goals for the Rowdies in their 12-6 win over the Cosmos.

All 20 games will be broadcast live online, and can be accessed through the team’s website at http://www.fltropics.com. Tickets for all home games are also available online, or by calling 863-333-5353.

The Tropics will play in the Eastern Division of the Eastern Conference of the 17-team MASL. Division rivals will include the defending league champion Baltimore Blast, Harrisburg Heat and Syracuse Silver Knights. Eleven games will come against divisional foes, and the schedule also features such league heavyweights as the San Diego Sockers, St. Louis Ambush, Kansas City Comets and Dallas Sidekicks.

TROPICS CLOSE IN ON FINAL INAUGURAL SEASON ROSTER WITH TWO MORE SIGNING

Lakeland, FL – The Tropics are finalizing their inaugural season roster with the announcement of two more players. Armando Tello and Kevin Rockwell-Ashton will join the additional 18 players currently signed to the Tropics leading up to the home opener on November 11th vs. San Diego.
Armando Tello brings nearly 10 years of professional indoor soccer experience to the Tropics. While born in Chicago, Tello has direct routes from Puerto Rico, as well as heritage from Mexico, and Italy. Tello is the first Puerto Rican to play professional indoor soccer, and hopes to embrace the Puerto Rican community here in Central Florida.

Tello served a short tenure with the Puerto Rican national team, and has played with professional indoor soccer franchises throughout North America. Tello started his career as a professional with the Chicago Storm reserves, before transferring to the Chicago Mustangs.

After spending a few years playing in Chicago, Tello moved on to play for the Detroit Waza Flo in the 2013/14 season, and then was traded to the Seattle Impact (known today as the Tacoma Stars). Prior to joining the Tropics, Tello played in Cedar Rapids for the Rampage.

“Tello is a very skillful player who can play any position. He has excellent technique and skill on the ball, and has proven he can adapt immediately to any tactical change. He brings years of experience playing at the highest level of professional arena soccer, and has a natural tendency to both score goals, and defend them. We are excited to see him take the field during pre-season, and then on November 11th”, said Tropics Owner Andrew Haines.

Kevin Rockwell-Ashton is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, but has recently moved to Orlando Florida. Kevin started getting noticed in Orlando when he began playing in the Central Florida Soccer League, where he has been the leagues top scorer over the past 3 seasons with over 30 goals. His play in the CFSL earned him the opportunity to play for Kraze United in the NPSL for the past two seasons.

Kevin has previously played in Mexico with Puebla F.C., and in Argentina for Newell’s Old Boys U-18 team. Kevin brings speed and size to the Tropics offense, and the opportunity to develop into one of the leagues leading goal scorers.

“I believe Kevin’s international experience will help him achieve his goals and become a feared offensive threat. He demonstrates great talent with the ability to find the back of the net. I believe that he will develop well with our veteran forwards and be a vital asset to the future of this organization”, said Haines.

The Tropics will take the field in their inaugural season home opener on November 11th at 7:35pm. To purchase tickets, call the teams front office at 863-333-5353. For more information, visit http://www.FLTropics.com.

About Florida Tropics SC: Florida Tropics SC is a professional indoor soccer team that will begin play in November of 2016 at the Lakeland Center. The team will play in the Major Arena Soccer League, which is the highest level of professional indoor soccer in North America. To stay up to date on team information, player signings and special offers, “Like” the teams Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/FLTropics). For more information visit http://www.FLTropics.com. To purchase tickets, call 863-333-5353, or visit Store.FLTropics.com
Player contracts are pending league approval

TROPICS SIGN THREE PLAYERS FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA

Lakeland, FL – Tropics Owner and CEO Andrew Haines announced today the signing of three new players found during the team’s open tryouts. Julian Pavlovski, Raphael Nascimento and Alexi Cortez will join the likes of Freddy Moojen, Anthony Arico, Piotr Sliwa and the rest of the signings on the Tropics inaugural season roster. The team is set to take the field for the first time on November 11th against San Diego.

Julian Pavlovski was born in Rochester, New York. He attended Lake Howell High school in Winter Park, Florida, and has been playing locally in Central Florida ever since. He ventured outside of Florida for a short stint, having played a few years at Western Texas College, and Barton Community College. Pavlovski then decided to leave the college game and pursue a professional career. He has since played for a number of top Central Florida Clubs, such as East Orange, Central Florida Craze and most recently Orlando City Premier. Pavlovski is a right-footed midfielder, with the ability to play either side of pitch.

Raphael Nascimento was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but grew up in Brazil. Nascimento played for America, Santa Cruz and Clube Atletico Mineiro during his youth in Brazil. Before moving to the states for college, he gained professional soccer experience with Ipatinga Futebol Clube, who have played at the highest level in Brazil, Série A. In 2010 Nascimento moved back to the US to play for Marshalltown Community College for two years before transferring to Grand View University, where he would see out his final two years of his college career. During his college years, Nascimento played in the USL PDL with the Des Moines Menace. After college, Nascimento got his start in professional soccer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies organization. Nascimento is a defender who will add strength to the Tropics back line.

The final signing announced is a former Florida Southern alumnus. Alexi Cortez is a midfielder who spent his final 3 years playing for Florida Southern after completing his freshman year playing at Jacksonville University. As a senior, Cortez started every game and scored 3 goals as a holding midfielder. During his youth, Cortez attended Al Sousa at Osceola High School in Largo, Florida, where he received First Team All-Pinellas County awards both his junior and senior year. He scored 21 goals in his prep career, including nine as a senior captain, along with 12 assists. On the club side, Cortez played for the renowned Tampa Bay United. Cortez will serve as an important asset for the Tropics defensive midfield.

“All three of these players are great, young signings for the Club. They provide depth to our lines and an opportunity to develop homegrown players at the professional level. We hope the community will come out to support these guys as they work hard to make a name for themselves, and help us build a team that can stick together and win championships for many years to come. I look forward to having these guys out in the community helping us build our brand, both on and off the field,” said CEO and Owner Andrew Haines.

The Tropics have announced that they will take the field against the San Diego Sockers for the team’s inaugural season game. The game is set to kick off at 7:35pm on November 11th at the Lakeland Center.

To purchase tickets to see Pavlovski, Nascimento, Cortez and the rest of the Tropics inaugural season roster in action, call 863-333-5353. As a reminder, by purchasing season tickets to the Tropics indoor side (which are still available at a discounted rate), you will also receive season tickets to the Lakeland Tropics inaugural USL PDL outdoor season FREE!

About Florida Tropics SC: Florida Tropics SC is a professional indoor soccer team that will begin play in November of 2016 at the Lakeland Center. The team will play in the Major Arena Soccer League, which is the highest level of professional indoor soccer in North America. To stay up to date on team information, player signings and special offers, “Like” the teams Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/FLTropics). For more information visit http://www.FLTropics.com. To purchase tickets, call 863-333-5353, or visit Store.FLTropics.com

TROPICS ANNOUNCE INAUGURAL SEASON SCHEDULE

Lakeland, FL – The final schedule for the Tropics inaugural season in the Major Arena Soccer League has been officially released. The Tropics home opener is set for Friday, November 11th, 2016 against the San Diego Sockers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:35pm. The Tropics will play a total of 20 games, 10 home and 10 away, spanning from November 11th, through February 26th.
A double header has been scheduled for one of the eight home weekends against future division rivals Syracuse Silver Knights. The Tropics will also have a weekend in mid-January where they play two games in three days, against what will likely become a division rival, the St. Louis Ambush.In addition to the Silver Knights and Ambush, the Tropics will play home games against the other two teams in the eastern division, Baltimore and Harrisburg, as well as the Midwest division Dallas Sidekicks and the Kansas City Comets.

On the road the team will have double headers for three of the five away trips, with one of the trips at the end of the season consisting of three games in three days. In addition to the eastern division teams, the Tropics will also play the Cedar Rapids Rampage, Kansas City Comets, and St. Louis Ambush on the road. The regular season will conclude on the road against the Syracuse Silver Knights on February 26th.

“I am excited to play some of these historic franchises in our inaugural season. This is a very competitive league that is going to be tough right from the start. I believe we have the players and coaching staff in place to make a playoff run and be a serious contender for the MASL championship. I look forward to hosting these teams here in Central Florida, and making the Lakeland Center one of the toughest places to play in the league. We can’t wait for November 11th, and hope the fans are just as excited to be a part of this historic event,” said Tropics CEO and Owner Andrew Haines.

You can view the Tropics full schedule here (Home games in bold):
Friday November 11th vs San Diego Sockers 7:35pm
Friday November 18th AT Baltimore Blast 7:35pm
Friday November 25th AT Harrisburg Heat 7:35pm
Saturday November 26th AT Syracuse Silver Knights 7:00pm
Saturday December 3rd vs Baltimore Blast 7:05pm
Friday December 9th AT St. Louis Ambush 8:35pm
Saturday December 10th AT Baltimore Blast 7:35pm
Saturday December 17th vs Kansas City Comets 7:05pm
Friday December 30th AT Kansas City Comets 7:05pm
Saturday December 31st AT Cedar Rapids Rampage 7:05pm
Friday January 6th vs Dallas Sidekicks 7:35pm
Friday January 13th vs St. Louis Ambush 7:35pm
Sunday January 15th vs St. Louis Ambush 5:35pm
Friday January 27th vs Kansas City Comets 7:05pm
Saturday February 4th vs Harrisburg Heat 7:05pm
Saturday February 11th vs Syracuse Silver Knights 7:05pm
Sunday February 12th vs Syracuse Silver Knights 5:35pm
Friday February 24th AT Harrisburg Heat 7:35pm
Saturday February 25th AT Harrisburg Heat 7:05pm
Sunday February 26th AT Syracuse Silver Knights 4:00pm

You can still purchase season tickets to catch all the action by calling the team’s front office at 863-333-5353. Group ticket deposits can also be placed now, with prices starting at just $13.50 a game for groups of 15 or more. Single game tickets will go on sale closer to the start of the season. To stay up to date with the teams information, be sure to like our facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/FLTropics.

About Florida Tropics SC: Florida Tropics SC is a professional indoor soccer team that will begin play in November of 2016 at the Lakeland Center. The team will play at the highest level of professional indoor soccer in North America. To stay up to date on team information, player signings and special offers, “Like” the teams Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/FLTropics). For more information visit http://www.FLTropics.com. To purchase tickets, call 863-333-5353, or visit Store.FLTropics.com

PDL EXPANDS TO POLK COUNTY WITH THE LAKELAND TROPICS

Lakeland, FL – The Premier Development League (PDL) is expanding to Lakeland, Florida! Central Florida Sports Ventures, which owns and operates Florida Tropics SC, has received the expansion rights for a PDL team. The team will be known as The Lakeland Tropics.

“We are very excited to receive expansion rights for a PDL team here in Polk County,” said Tropics COO Chris Economides. “This gives us another avenue to engage and provide affordable entertainment to the community. We hope to rally the community behind the Tropics and provide a high level of professionalism both on and off the field.”

“We have the people in place to do so, and we can’t wait to see what this organization can become and do for this community. Soccer is thriving and its time Polk County gets a team that can compete on a national scale and attract some of the best athletes and future professionals.”
The PDL is the highest level of men’s amateur soccer competition in North America. The PDL is sponsored by United Soccer League (USL), the professional league that serves as a direct feeder to Major League Soccer (MLS).

The PDL is a proven path to professional soccer in North America. The league served as an important stepping-stone for many top athletes now playing throughout the world. More than 350 PDL alumni have taken part in the 2016 USL regular season, while more than 200 PDL alums, including Keegan Rosenberry and Brandon Vincent, have competed in the 2016 MLS regular season.

While PDL players are not paid, the league is still recognized as a competitive level of outdoor soccer and an opportunity to see the future stars of professional soccer in North America. The majority of the player pool is drawn from elite NCAA and NAIA college soccer players. PDL players can also include standout high school and junior club players, as well as former professionals.

Many MLS and USL teams have a U23 squad playing in the PDL. This again proves that the PDL is a direct path to professional soccer, and an important opportunity for teams to develop their young stars before taking the next step to the professional level.

So, what does this mean for the Polk County community?

To start, high-level soccer can now be viewed year-round in Lakeland. It also means that Lakeland now has a team that can compete on a national scale for outdoor soccer, as the PDL has an opportunity for teams to enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Having a PDL team is huge for our own player development,” Tropics and CFSV CEO Haines said. “It allows us to keep players here year-round and stay involved in the community, inspiring future athletes to one day play professionally for their hometown team. Our goal is to always be competitive right from the start, and we will do everything in our power to bring home a trophy to this community.”

The Lakeland Tropics will compete in the Southern Conference, which includes various other teams throughout the state of Florida. This will help to create interstate rivalries amongst Polk County’s newest team.

The Lakeland Tropics season will begin in May, and season ticket will be on sale in the upcoming weeks. For more information or to join the waitlist for tickets, call 863-333-5353.

TROPICS SIGN TWO MORE BRAZILIAN PLAYERS, PARREIRAS AND DIEGUES

Lakeland, FL – The Tropics have announced the signing of two more players this morning. Victor Parreiras and Ricardo de Queiroz Diegues have joined the Tropics inaugural season roster. Both born and raised in Brazil, Victor and Ricardo bring more professional indoor soccer and futsal experience to the team. Victor and Ricardo also played together at UT-Brownsville and also have experience in the outdoor game playing in the PDL.

Victor Parreiras was born in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has played soccer his whole life, and grew up playing Futsal in Brazil for well-known clubs such as Fluminense FC and Tio Sam Esporte Club. Victor also has outdoor experience playing for Brazilian side Duque de Caxias FC, and PDL sides Sockers FC, Houston Dutch Lions, and the Ocala Stampede. Victor also has professional indoor soccer experience playing with Oxford City and most recently Brownsville Barracudas FC.

Ricardo de Queiroz Diegues was also born in Rio de Janeiro. The 26-year-old striker has quit the impressive goal-scoring resume. Before coming to the US, Ricardo played for Associacao Atletica Portuguesa, a second division Brazilian team based out of Rio. From there Ricardo was recruited to UT-Brownsville in the NAIA. At UTB, Ricardo scored 64 goals and had 20 assits in just 57 games over his 3 years with the school. He was the national tournament MVP and scored 34 and 11 assists in his senior year. In additional to tournament MVP, Ricardo was also crowned NAIA First team All-American, NAIA National Championship All-Tournament team, NAIA National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player, RRAC Offensive Player of the Year, First team All-Conference, RRAC player of the week, and First team All-Conference tournament, and UTB MVP Athlete throughout his 3 years of play.

After a successful college career, Ricardo signed with MASL side Brownsville Barracudas FC. During his time with Brownsville, Ricardo scored 10 goals and had 5 assists in just 10 games. Ricardo adds depth and another goal scoring threat to the Tropics offense, making the Tropics front line one of the most dangerous in the MASL.

Victor and Ricardo will take the field along with the rest of the Tropics inaugural season roster in November. Don’t miss a minute of the action and purchase your tickets today by calling 863-333-5353 or visiting http://www.FLTropics.com.

About Florida Tropics SC: Florida Tropics SC is a professional indoor soccer team that will begin play in November of 2016 at the Lakeland Center. The team will play at the highest level of professional indoor soccer in North America. To stay up to date on team information, player signings and special offers, “Like” the teams Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/FLTropics). For more information visit http://www.FLTropics.com. To purchase tickets, call 863-333-5353, or visit Store.FLTropics.com
Player contracts are pending league approval