Tag Archives: Major Arena Soccer League

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.

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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 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

MASL FINALIZES DIVISIONS AND CONFERENCES FOR 2016-17 SEASON

Lakeland, FL – The Major Arena Soccer League has set the league’s conference and division lineup for the upcoming season as 17 teams will play in two conferences and four divisions for the 2016-17 season as the league looks to strengthen its base for the future. Teams will once again break into Eastern and Western Conferences, with two divisions in each conference.

“We have placed our focus on increasing standards and working with the member organizations to improve their respective market situations,” said MASL Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “This setup will give us a league of great parity, further allow all teams to continue featuring their longstanding rivalries while also growing the MASL’s prominence in North America.”

The Western Conference’s Pacific Division will be the Ontario Fury, San Diego Sockers, Tacoma Stars and Turlock Express. The Southwest Division will include Atletico Baja, Dallas Sidekicks, expansion El Paso Coyotes and defending conference champion Soles de Sonora.

The Eastern Conference will have the lone five-team division, with the Central Division featuring the Cedar Rapids Rampage, Chicago Mustangs, Milwaukee Wave, Kansas City Comets and St. Louis Ambush. The Eastern Division has the defending MASL Ron Newman Cup Champion Baltimore Blast, expansion Florida Tropics, Harrisburg Heat and Syracuse Silver Knights.

“We feel these divisions will keep and grow the established rivalries in our league and establish geographic efficiencies,” Schaub said. “Ontario and Tacoma battled for the final Western playoff spot to the last game last season, and Syracuse nearly derailed the Blast on their road to the Ron Newman Cup last Spring, so it should continue to be another exciting season where the outcome of every game is in doubt.”

With the league’s new focus, four teams have chosen to suspend operations for the 2016-17 season, while still maintaining their MASL membership. Brownsville, Detroit, Las Vegas and Saltillo, will sit out the upcoming season in an effort to improve operations and facilities with an eye towards returning the following season. The Monterrey franchise, which won the league title in 2014-15 before sitting out the 2015-16 season, has been granted a one-year extension on its MASL membership. The Sacramento Surge has ceased operations and its membership will be relocated with a destination to be announced in the near future.

“Although it was a difficult decision for all of these teams to suspend operations, I commend them for taking a year to improve standards in order to take this league to the levels we believe it can reach,” Schaub said. “We will be working with these teams to improve their facility and business operations so that they can come back strong in the Fall of 2017.”

The Major Arena Soccer League season will begin Oct. 29, with the regular season ending in early March. A full schedule and final playoff breakdown will be completed within the next week. For more information about the league, go to the league’s website at MASLSoccer.com. Andrew Haines, Andrew G. Haines

TROPICS SIGN PRO SOCCER VETERAN AND FLORIDA NATIVE, JP REYES

Lakeland, FL – Tropics CEO Andrew Haines announced the signing of Ecuadorian Juan Pablo ‘JP’ Reyes this afternoon. Reyes has an impressive resume and is expected to bring even more veteran experience to the Tropics roster. Reyes is a Florida native who has both indoor and outdoor professional soccer experience.

Although his family has roots to Ecuador, Reyes grew up in Orange County, Florida, where he attended William R. Boone High School. Reyes was an All State soccer player and played for the Ajax American soccer club. Reyes went on to play in the USL Premier Development League for the Cocoa Expos in 2006, and the Central Florida Kraze in 2007.

Reyes spent the 2007-2008 indoor season with the Orlando Sharks of the Major Indoor Soccer League. On April 16, 2008, the Rochester Rhinos of the USL First Division announced the signing of Reyes. This was a big move for Reyes, as the Rhinos are one of the most historic and successful franchises in the USL.

Reyes spent the 2009 season in the NISL with the Rockford Rampage’s for their inaugural season. Reyes spent the following year with Ecuador’s 1st Division side Manta FC. In 2011, Reyes returned to the PDL with the Central Florida Kraze. The team made the playoffs and finished 2nd in the southern conference.

Following a successful few years with his outdoor soccer career, Reyes signed with the Rochester Lancers for their inaugural season in late 2011. Reyes would finish the 2011-12 season with the Lancer rival, the Syracuse Silverknights.

Reyes then returned to outdoor play with the Tampa Marauders in the NPSL. During the 2013 season Reyes was a staple in the midfield and helped the Marauders reach the conference finals against Miami United FC.

In 2014, Reyes spent the summer with the Jacksonville Armada in the NASL, where he played for their development program before heading back up to Rochester for the indoor season.
During the 2014-2015 indoor season, Reyes helped Rochester reach the playoffs and achieve the team’s most successful season to date. Reyes played 22 of 24 games for the Lancers, losing to the Baltimore Blast in the playoff conference finals.

Reyes adds depth and much needed veteran experience to the Tropics defensive line. To see Reyes and the rest of the Tropics team in action this November, call 863-333-5353 and reserve your seats today!

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