Big offensive, defensive second-half effort leads Tropics to 8-4 road win over Dallas

by Brian Ackley/Tropics

ALLEN, Texas -- A big two-way effort in the second half helped the Florida Tropics snap a three-game losing streak as they broke a 4-4 halftime tie to roll to an 8-4 win in Major Arena Soccer League action Saturday night.

Ricardo Carvalho scored twice -- one on a beautiful bicycle kick near the top left corner of the box to give Florida a 3-2 lead -- and Vini Dantas also added a pair as Florida improved to 7-4-2 on the season, good for second place in the Eastern Division.

Milwaukee leads the east with 23 points while the Tropics sit at 21 points, but have played three more games than the Wave. Kansas City, who Florida will meet in two of their next three games, is at 20 points, but has played four more games that the Tropics. Teams get three points for a regulation time win, two for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and no points for a regulation time loss. The hard-luck Sidekicks fell to 0-11-2.

"That was our best overall effort in a long time. I liked our pace, we played smart, and our defensive effort overall -- to shut any team out for the last two and a half quarters of a game is tough -- was the result of all our guys being on the same page and playing for each other."

Chris Frederick got his third win in goal in as many starts, facing 20 Sidekicks shots, while Florida blasted away with 30 of their own. Frederick lowered his goals-against average to an impressive 3.67 with an equally as strong saves percentage of .744.

"He came up with big saves when we needed them, and he got a lot of support from all the guys in front of him," Roberts added. "It's how we want to play the game every time out and I'm confident going forward we're going to see more performances like this."

Carvalho added two assists for a four-point night. Ricardo Diegues had a goal and an assist. Drew Ruggles got a power play goal five minutes into the second half which proved to be the game-winner, the eighth of his career. Bren Olivera and Thiago Freitas also scored for Florida.

The Tropics will close out a five-game road trip Friday, Feb. 10 in Kansas City and Saturday, Feb. 11 in St. Louis before returning home for two straight at the RP Funding Center. That includes a Sunday, Feb 19 date against the Kansas City Comets and a visit from the Tacoma Stars on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Tickets for all home games are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as opposed to calling the box office directly. Tickets are also available on game day at the box