Tropics Officially Sign Veteran Defender Jose Birche

by Andrew Ross

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics, who will start their third season in  the Major Arena Soccer League in early December, have officially signed  veteran defender Jose Luiz Birche. Per league and team policies, terms  of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nicknamed “Bazooka” because  of his heavy left-footed shot, Birche has spent the last two seasons  with the Harrisburg Heat, and was part of the 2014-15 arena champion  Monterrey La Raza. He is a native of Pennapolis, Brazil.

In 31  total games with the Heat, the defender scored nine goals and dished out  five assists. In four total years in Monterrey, in two different  two-year stints, Birche appeared in 74 games, scoring 48 goals and  getting 18 assists. He sat out the 2015-16 season because of a knee  injury. In 2010, he played for the Missouri Comets (now the Kansas City  Comets) where he appeared in nine games scoring one goal and getting  three assists.

“Jose brings not only solid defensive skills, but  the always present threat to move forward and become part of the attack  at any moment,” Tropics Head Coach Clay Roberts said. “It's an added  dimension to our back line that we have been looking for. His veteran  presence combined with his physical skills and knowledge of the game are  all assets he will bring to our lineup.”

Florida will play a  24-game home and away schedule which runs from very early December to  the end of March.The complete schedule can be found here. For  more information, go to