Tropics add pair of Florida college stars to growing offensive arsenal

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Tropics have added two more college standouts, pending league and visa approval,  leading up to the start of the team's second season in the Major Arena Soccer League season this fall.

Forward Lucas Coutinho played this summer for the New York Cosmos B side in the National Premier Soccer League. He signed with the Cosmos first team, but they did not have any international slots available, so he was loaned to their sister team. He had a stellar career at Palm Beach Atlantic University, collecting 88 points (25 goals, 38 assists). He was both an NSCAA All American and All South Region all-star in each of his four years playing for the Sailfish.

Tosan Popo is no stranger to the Tropics, having played this summer for the Tampa Bay Rowdies U23 team that was in the same division as the Lakeland Tropics of the USL Premier Development League. 

Popo played at Rollins College, where as a senior last fall he was second in scoring on the team with eight goals and six assists. He played more minutes in the field than anyone on the roster last year, and was a first-team All Sunshine State Conference honoree in all four of his years there. In his junior season, Popo had nine goals and 18 assists, finishing his collegiate career with 26 goals and 33 assists.

With the Rowdies this summer, he had a goal and two assists, He played in both games against Lakeland, but did not score.

The Tropics will have their home opener at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. A full 22-game MASL schedule will be released in the coming weeks. For information on tickets, including to the opener or season-tickets for all 11 home games during the 2017-18 season for just $55, call 240-0101, or visit