Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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"Miami F.C." redirects here. For the former Major League Soccer team, see Miami Fusion.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Full name Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Nickname(s) Strikers
Founded 2006 (as Miami FC)
Stadium Lockhart Stadium
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Ground Capacity 20,450
Owners Paulo Cesso
Rafael Bertani
Ricardo Geromel
Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner
League North American Soccer League
2014 Spring Championship: 5th
Fall Championship: 4th
Combined: 4th
Playoffs: Finals
Website Club home page
Current season
Cristiano Dias played almost 100 games for Miami FC

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are an American professional soccer team based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Founded in 2006, they play in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. The team, known as Miami F.C. until 2011, are named for the original Strikers, who played in the old North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983. They play their home games in Lockhart Stadium. They have a fierce in-state rivalry with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.[1][2]


1973–1997: South Florida soccer heritage[edit]

South Florida is home to a storied soccer tradition. The first professional soccer team in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area was the Miami Toros who played in the old North American Soccer League. Formed in 1973, the Toros moved just north to Fort Lauderdale rebranding themselves the Strikers. The original Strikers boasted many famous players such as Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, George Best and Gordon Banks.

Prior to the launch of Major League Soccer in 1996, teams from Fort Lauderdale played in the North American Soccer League, American Soccer League, American Professional Soccer League and the USISL. In 1998, the Miami Fusion were introduced into Major League Soccer until 2001.

On April 16, 2006, Miami FC played its first home game at Tropical Park Stadium. Mario "El Loco" Rodríguez, a Guatemalan national team midfielder, scored the team's first goal in the 77th minute. He was assisted by Zinho, a starter on Brazil's 1994 World Cup champion team. The lone goal was enough to defeat Jamaican champion Portmore United. Brazilian World Cup winner Romario was signed to the club March 30, 2006. Though injuries left him unable to play in the April 16, 2006 opener, Miami FC gave the famed striker the honor of the ceremonial first kick. Romario left the club to sign a short term contract with Australian league premier team Adelaide United in Australia's premier football competition the Hyundai A-League, for a 4-game "guest" stint, and subsequently returned to Brazil to play for Vasco da Gama. He scored his 1000th career goal against Sport from Recife on May 20, 2007.

In 2007, the team held a contest through public schools in the greater Miami-Dade area for a nickname and mascot. Shia Moreno, an elementary school student won for her nickname "Blues". Daniel Townsend, a senior at Robert Morgan Educational Center won for his mascot creation "Hotshot", a flaming Sonic-the-Hedgehog-like character.

In November 2009 the Miami announced their intent to leave the USL First Division to become the co-founders of a new North American Soccer League, which would begin play in 2010. The league, which at the time had yet to be sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation or the Canadian Soccer Association, would also comprise the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps and a brand new team led by St. Louis Soccer United.[3]

After lawsuits were filed and heated press statements exchanged, the USSF declared they would sanction neither league for the coming year, and ordered both to work together on a plan to temporarily allow their teams to play a 2010 season. The interim solution was announced on January 7, 2010 with the USSF running the new USSF D-2 league comprising clubs from both USL-1 and NASL.[4]

In summer 2010, Miami FC announced its intention to 'pay homage' to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL by incorporating 'Strikers' into the team name from 2011. They renamed themselves the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on February 17, 2011.[5]

Colors and badge[edit]

Original Miami FC logo

The official colors of the Strikers are red, gold, charcoal gray, metallic goal and "beach sand". According to a press release issued just prior to the beginning of the 2011 season, the color palette is intended to "connecting with the heart and passion of the players and fans of the beautiful game while symbolizing the warmth of the Sunshine State and City of Fort Lauderdale."[6] The team's shirts, which feature red and gold hoops paired with black shorts, intentionally mirror those worn by the old NASL Strikers in the 1980s.

According to the same press release, the logo incorporates "a contemporary seven-pointed sun with ball signifying the golden era of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977 to 1983", has a "distinctive tie to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s landmark wave wall columns of Las Olas Boulevard that bookend the memorable Strikers jersey hoops", and features a unique script and typeface.

The old Miami FC colors were tropical blue, gold and white, and its logo was a simple shield featuring a stylized soccer ball, the Miami FC wordmark, and shading in the team's color palette.


Lockhart Stadium

The Strikers play their home games at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Built in 1959 as an athletic facility for local high schools, the stadium was the home the original Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the original North American Soccer League, as well the now-defunct Miami Fusion of Major League Soccer. The Strikers announced in December 2012 that they would like to see Lockhart Stadium renovated, or build their own soccer specific stadium.[7]

During their five years in the USL, the old Miami FC played at various stadiums in the greater Miami area, including Tropical Park Stadium, Miami Orange Bowl and FIU Stadium.

In a historical note, the Strikers have hosted the first ever NASL games for rival clubs FC Edmonton in 2011 and Ottawa Fury FC in 2014. Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale also hosted the first ever road game for the Indy 11 expansion team (after playing their first 2 matches at home in Indianapolis).

Club culture[edit]

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have strong support among young people in South Florida. The "Club of supporters" is growing in the last years, mainly in some universities of Broward County.[8]

Miami FC used to use cheerleaders from FIU. The Strikers do not have cheerleaders, though the club has an official dance team that performs before games and at halftime.[9]


The Strikers' main rivalry is with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The rivalry began in 1977 between the original Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the original Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League,[10] In recent times, the rivalry between both fans and the media has been dubbed the Florida Derby, referencing the two clubs' locations in South Florida.[11] The heart of the rivalry between the two sides exists primarily within the two clubs' supporters groups. Presently, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are supported by the former "Miami Ultras", whom also supported the Miami Fusion F.C..[12]

Affiliated clubs[edit]

Supporters groups[edit]

  • Miami Ultras: Established in early 2008 with the purpose of bringing a Major League Soccer team to South Florida, the group quickly became the supporters group for Miami FC and followed the team north when it moved to Lockhart Stadium(and subsequently rebranded to the Strikers). They are also the official South Florida regional affiliate of Sam's Army, a nationwide supporters group for the United States national soccer teams.
  • Tri Rail Firm: Most Eurocentric of the supporters groups with very strict entry requirements.

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of September 3, 2014[14]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Čontofalský, KamilKamil Čontofalský      Slovakia
2 Defender Antonijevic, StefanStefan Antonijevic      Serbia
3 Midfielder Lopez, MitchellMitchell Lopez      United States
6 Midfielder Nurse, ChrisChris Nurse      Guyana
7 Midfielder De Mujica, GonzaloGonzalo De Mujica      Argentina
8 Midfielder Pecka, Pecka      Brazil
9 Midfielder Núñez, MartínMartín Núñez      Uruguay
11 Forward Picault, FafàFafà Picault      Haiti
12 Defender Guerrero, IvánIván Guerrero      Honduras
13 Defender Chavez, JustinJustin Chavez      United States
15 Forward Hassan, AlyAly Hassan      United States
16 Defender Travagli, JoshJosh Travagli      Italy
17 Midfielder Chin, ShawnShawn Chin      United States
18 Defender Guillaume, StéphaneStéphane Guillaume      Haiti
19 Forward Jenison Brito, Jenison Brito      Brazil
20 Midfielder Anderson, MarkMark Anderson      England
21 Midfielder King, DarnellDarnell King      United States
22 Goalkeeper Brown, LionelLionel Brown      United States
23 Midfielder Gonzalez, MannyManny Gonzalez      Colombia
24 Goalkeeper Meves, DavidDavid Meves      United States
27 Midfielder Murphy, ColinColin Murphy      New Zealand
28 Midfielder Vieira, RonaldoRonaldo Vieira      United States
29 Forward Pérez, YaikelYaikel Pérez      Cuba
33 Defender Alves, RafaelRafael Alves      Brazil
34 Defender Gordon, DarrylDarryl Gordon      United States
73 Midfielder Ramírez, WalterWalter Ramírez      Honduras


  • Brazil Ricardo Geromel – Managing Partner
  • United States Tom Mulroy – Team President
  • United States Tim Robbie – Managing Director
  • Austria Günter Kronsteiner - Sports Director and Head Coach
  • Germany Raoul Voss – Assistant Coach
  • Brazil Ricardo Lopes – Goalkeepers Coach

Notable former players[edit]

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Miami FC

Head coaches[edit]


  • NASL Championship
    • Runner-up: 2011; 2014
  • Coastal Cup
    • Winners: 2014
  • Ponce De Leon Cup
    • Winners: 2008



Year Name Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup Avg. Attendance
2006 Miami FC 2 USL First Division 5th Quarterfinals 2nd Round 2,074
2007 Miami FC 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 1st Round 916
2008 Miami FC 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 3rd Round 1,701
2009 Miami FC 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 2nd Round 1,063
2010 Miami FC 2 USSF Division 2 4th Did not qualify 3rd Round 1,254
2011 Strikers 2 NASL 4th Runner-up Did not participate 3,985
2012 Strikers 2 NASL 5th Quarterfinal 3rd Round 3,615
2013 Strikers 2 NASL Spring: 7th
Fall: 5th
Did not qualify 3rd Round 4,265
2014 Strikers 2 NASL Spring: 5th
Fall: 4th
Runner-up 3rd Round 3,825

Most appearances[edit]

# Pos. Name Nation Career NASL Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Defender Ståhl, ToniToni Ståhl  Finland 2011–2013 64 6 3 73
2 Goalkeeper Glaeser, MattMatt Glaeser  United States 2011–2013 56 6 3 65
3 Midfielder King, DarnellDarnell King  United States 2012– 53 1 3 57
4 Midfielder Paeckhart, WellingtonWellington Paeckhart  Brazil 2011– 47 5 4 56
Midfielder Restrepo, WalterWalter Restrepo  United States 2011–2013 47 5 4 56
6 Midfielder Anderson, MarkMark Anderson  England 2012– 42 1 3 46
Midfielder Núñez, MartínMartín Núñez  Uruguay 2011, 2013– 41 5 0 46
8 Forward Thompson, AbeAbe Thompson  United States 2011–2012 38 6 1 45
Defender Laing, LanceLance Laing  Jamaica 2011-2012 39 6 0 45
10 Defender Gordon, ScottScott Gordon  United States 2011, 2012-2013 38 5 1 44

Last updated: May 16, 2014.
Bolded players are currently on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers roster.
List only includes stats from 2011 to present

Top goal scorers[edit]

# Pos. Name Nation Career NASL Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Midfielder Anderson, MarkMark Anderson  England 2012– 19 0 3 22
2 Midfielder Núñez, MartínMartín Núñez  Uruguay 2011, 2013– 14 1 0 15
3 Forward Thompson, AbeAbe Thompson  United States 2011–2012 8 4 0 12
Forward Picault, FafàFafà Picault  United States 2014- 12 0 0 12
5 Midfielder Restrepo, WalterWalter Restrepo  United States 2011–2013 9 1 1 11
Forward Hassan, AlyAly Hassan  United States 2012– 8 0 3 11
Forward Shriver, BrianBrian Shriver  United States 2011 6 5 0 11
7 Forward Herron, AndyAndy Herron  Costa Rica 2012–2013 8 0 0 8
9 Midfielder King, DarnellDarnell King  United States 2012– 6 0 0 6
Midfielder Coudet, EduardoEduardo Coudet  Argentina 2011 6 0 0 6
10 Midfielder Salazar, CarlosCarlos Salazar  Colombia 2013- 5 0 0 5

Last updated: October 24, 2014.
Bolded players are currently on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers roster.
List only includes stats from 2011 to present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brousseau, Dave (September 1, 2012). "Tampa Bay Rowdies 3, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0; NASL; Lockhart Stadium". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tampa Bay Rowdies to Play Fort Lauderdale Strikers For the First Time Since 1993 | MLS News from". Major League Soccer Talk. April 27, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ "USL outcasts set to launch new league in 2010". November 10, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Division 2 Professional League To Operate in 2010". January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Strikers Official Name Announcement". 
  6. ^ Strikers Release New Logo[dead link]
  7. ^, NASL's Fort Lauderdale to pursue soccer-specific stadium, Dec. 4, 2012,
  8. ^ "Photos of young supporters". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ 02:01 PM. "Cheerleaders". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Strikers History: 1963–1976". Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ Diaz, Armando (August 27, 2011). "Florida Derby". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Miami Ultras Home". Miami Ultras. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Roster | Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]