by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Florida (May 20, 2019 - The Florida Tropics have inked arena soccer veteran Stephen DeRoux, the franchise's first player who also has played in Major League Soccer, for the 2019-20 season. Per league and team policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In addition to 10 games with D.C. United in 2005 and 2006, DeRoux has played with some of the top teams in the United Soccer League including the Minnesota Thunder and Montreal Impact, where in 2009 he was named Second Team all USL as the Impact won the USL title.

His indoor career includes 58 games with the three-time defending Major Arena Soccer League Baltimore Blast, from 2011 to 2014. He was named to the league's All-Rookie team in the 2011-12 season, when he scored 10 goals. Primarily a defender, although he can play midfield as well, he added five goals and 11 assists in his final two seasons with the Blast. He also played in five games for the Milwaukee Wave in the 2015-16 campaign, getting two goals and three assists.

The Blast were In the league finals in all three of DeRoux's seasons there, winning once. In all, the Jamaican native appeared in a dozen post-season games for Baltimore. This past season, he suited up for Utica City FC, appearing in 23 games, with two goals and six assists.

“Stephen brings tremendous pedigree and defensive experience, especially in the indoor game which we welcome,” Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “He is very skilled and his versatility makes him an important addition to our lineup. While we have added some top offensive talent, we also know we need to upgrade defensively as well, and Stephen is a great step in the direction.”

Florida will start its fourth season in the Major Arena Soccer League at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland in late fall. For more information, visit www.fltropics.com.