Tropics earn valuable point as unbeaten streak at seven after 1-1 draw against South Florida Surf

by Brian Ackley

STUART, Fla. – The Lakeland Tropics saw their winning streak snapped, but their unbeaten stretch is now at seven games following a 1-1 draw on the road Wednesday night against the South Florida Surf.

The Tropics got their valuable point thanks to Ricardo Diegues, who converted the rebound of a shot from Caue Salgado which went off the goal post in the 75th minute, improving to 6-1-1 on the season.

The team's only loss remains a 4-0 defeat at the hand of FC Miami City back on May 11, which was the season opener for the Tropics. Miami, 7-1-0 with 21 points, will be in Lakeland Saturday night for a 7:35 p.m. kickoff at historic Bryant Stadium. The Tropics are in third place with 19 points. Both teams trail the SIMA Aguilas who are 7-0-1, and in first with 22 points. Only the top two division finishers early playoff berths.

The Tropics will meet SIMA in another huge showdown game Saturday, July 1, at Bryant Stadium, and will conclude their regular season July 11 at SIMA.

Both clubs had chances throughout the game, including good ones late, but neither could find the equalizer. Diegues' bid for a second goal, which would have been his 10th of the year, was cleared off the line with about five minutes to play, and the Surf had one of their shots nick the goal post with about three minutes to go.

Tickets for Saturday's matchup are available at, or by calling the team office at 240-0101. A three-pack of tickets for the remaining home games, including the “fight for first” against SIMA July 1, are just $12. The first 1,000 fans Saturday night at Bryant Stadium will get a free Tropics rally towel courtesy of EA Smiles Orthodontics.