Sockers, with a history laden with titles, prepare to face hungry tropics for the Ron Newman Cup

MASL Pechanga Stadium
The San Diego Sockers leave Saturday for Monday’s opener of their championship series against the Florida Tropics. Photo credit: @sdsockers, via Twitter

The San Diego Sockers have their second consecutive MASL championship in sight, but first they must defeat a team with a much shorter history – the Florida Tropics.

The Ron Newman Cup final, a best-of-three series, begins at 4 p.m. Monday when the Sockers take on the Tropics, making their first-ever appearance in the final, in Lakeland, Florida.

The Sockers, however, will be aiming for their 16th overall title and have such a legacy of success that the league trophy is named after their former manager, the late Newman, who led his teams to 10 championships in just 11 years. starting in the 1980s.

San Diego (23-0-1) and Florida (18-3-2) had the two best regular season records. In their only one-on-one meeting, the Sockers beat the Tropics 11-4 on March 31 at Pechanga Arena, winning the MASL Shield for the league’s best regular season record.

Both teams qualified for the quarter-finals, but the semi-finals proved more difficult. San Diego outlasted the Chihuahua Savage in three games, losing 7-6 in overtime — their first loss of the year — before rallying Sunday for 6-2, 4-1 wins at home, to clinch the 2- 1.

The Tropics also lost Game 1 to Kansas City, 8-7 on the road, before coming home to 4-2 wins in the next two games.

The teams are led by league winners Tavoy Morgan and Boris Pardo for the Sockers side and Victor Parreiras and Chad Vandegriffe for the Tropics. The group was named to the MASL “Elite Six” first team for their regular season play.

Morgan led the league in power play goals with nine, and the Sockers in points and goals, while Parreiras led the Tropics in goals and assists. Pardo led the MASL with a 4.20 goals-against average, while Vandegriffe led with 54 blocked shots.

In the playoffs, Sockers captain Kraig Chiles stood out, with seven goals and Mitchell Cardenas blocked 13 shots. For Florida, Zach Reget has 13 points and seven assists.

Some details for fans about the upcoming series:

  • On Monday, the Sockers will host a watch party at the CaliFino Sub-Limit Lounge, 3238 Gray Hawk Court, Carlsbad, for fans to gather for the game.
  • The series ends May 8 in San Diego, with the Ron Newman Cup on the line. If the series is tied 1-1 at the end of Game 2, a 15-minute knockout game follows, serving as Game 3 for decide on the series.
  • For tickets to the finals, including Mother’s Day and group specials, search online or call for tickets toll-free at (866) 799-GOAL.
  • The finals will be streamed online on the MASL Twitch channel, @masl_soccer, or on Sirius XM, channels 138 or 201 on Monday, or 157 on May 8.

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