Second-half goal by Victor Parreiras lifts Tropics to 1-1 tie against IMG Academy Bradenton

by Brian Ackley

RADENTON – A second-half goal by Victor Parreiras got the Lakeland Tropics one point as they battle for a playoff spot in the final week of the USL Premier Development League regular season.

For Parreiras, who missed most of the season with a knee injury, the goal was his second of the year to forge the  1-1 tie. IMG scored on a free kick right before halftime.

With the point, the Tropics moved to first place in the southeast division at 8-2-3, good for 27 points, with one game remaining. That game is Saturday night at home against Weston FC. Kickoff at Bryant Stadium is a 7 p.m.

Lakeland could have clinched a post-season spot with a win in either of their last two games, but fell last Saturday at The Villages, 2-0.

The SIMA Aguilas are in second at 8-2-2 with two games left, while The Villages SC is 7-2-3 good for 24 points, and also with two games remaining on the schedule. Both teams play Wednesday night. The Villages end their regular season at home  Saturday, and SIMA at home on Sunday.

Free tickets to Saturday's game, part of a fan appreciation celebration, are available at www.lakelantropics.com/fanappreciation, courtesy of Bond Clinic, Truly Nolan Pest Control, Il Forno Italian Restaurant and Duke's Brewhouse.