by Brian Ackley/Tropics

LAKELAND, FL – If the game is half as good as the uniform, soccer and Star Wars fans will be in for a big treat Sunday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

The Florida Tropics will be hosting its annual Major Arena Soccer League “Star Wars” game when the Tacoma Stars visit for a 3 p.m. kickoff. But the real “star” of the show might just be the special uniforms the Tropics will wear.

Florida players will don specially designed jersey’s with a mosaic of “Star Wars” themed images.

“We’ve done Star Wars uniforms before, but none of them have created even close to the interest this one has. It’s a spectacular design and I can’t even begin to tell you how many inquiries we’ve had about wanting one,” noted B.J. Rinaldo, the Tropics Director of Business Development and Sales. “We’re pleased that ultimately the jersey’s will go to benefit one of our important partners in the community, the YMCA of Central Florida, to help further their important initiatives.”

While the uniforms won’t be for sale, game worn jerseys will be auctioned off online following Sunday’s contest, with the proceeds to benefit the Central Florida YMCA, with whom the Tropics partner with on youth soccer initiatives. Information on the online auction, including how to bid, will be posted on the team’s Facebook page this weekend.

Florida (14-1-1, 43 points, 16 games played) comes into the game having already clinched a playoff spot – meaning that the team will host its first-ever playoff game at home in its six-year history during the second weekend of April– and is looking to
continue its quest to win the Eastern Division regular season crown. Any combination of three Baltimore Blast (10-6-0, 31 points, 18 games played) losses in regulation or Tropics wins in regulation over the final four weeks of the season would clinch the division.

The Tropics are led by MVP candidate Victor Parreiras who is third in the league overall with 40 points on 22 goals and 18 assists. Tacoma’s player-coach Nick Perera leads the Stars (5-10-2) with 16 goals and 19 assists, good for seventh overall in the league in scoring.

After Sunday, the Tropics will have a quick California trip mid-week when they travel to meet the Ontario Fury on Wednesday, March 16, before returning to Lakeland for a showdown with the Blast on Sunday, March 20. All Tropics games are broadcast live on the MASL YouTube Channel.

Fans who would like to attend the special “Star Wars” game, which will include Star Wars characters to greet and interact with fans, can do so for free this year.

The “Tropics Blitz” allows for free general admission tickets as a way of providing a great evening of family entertainment for parents and kids who have had their activities curtailed because of the ongoing pandemic.

Vehicles with two or more persons will pay $20 to park, and then be able to take their parking receipt to the RP Funding Center box office for the same number of free tickets to that day’s game as occupants in the vehicle. Single occupant vehicles will pay just $10 for parking.

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