Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83)

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Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Logo
Full name Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Founded 1977
(Previously Miami Toros)
Dissolved 1983
(rebranded as Minnesota Strikers)
Stadium

Lockhart Stadium
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

West Palm Beach Auditorium
(indoor 1979-80)
West Palm Beach, Florida

Hollywood Sportatorium
(indoor 1980-81)
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Ground Capacity 20,450/15,532 (indoor)
League North American Soccer League

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were an American soccer team, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1977 to 1983. They played their home games at Lockhart Stadium.

The franchise was founded as the Washington Darts in 1967 and moved to the Miami metropolitan area in 1972, where they were known as the Miami Gatos (1972) and the Miami Toros (1973–1976) before moving to Fort Lauderdale. In addition to their time in the NASL outdoor league, the Strikers also played two NASL indoor seasons in 1979–80 and 1980–81,[1] and competed in the 1983 NASL Grand Prix of Indoor Soccer tournament. They were owned by Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie and his wife Elizabeth Robbie. In 1984 they relocated to Minneapolis as the Minnesota Strikers.

Major signers[edit]

The first major signing for Ft Lauderdale was England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks. Banks was the top keeper in the league his first year despite being blind in one eye.

The legendary George Best signed for the Strikers midway through the 1978 season after falling out with the management at the Los Angeles Aztecs. Best played for the rest of the 1978 season and the whole of 1979's campaign.

In 1979 the Strikers signed Peruvian legend Teófilo Cubillas, who would play with the club until their departure for Minnesota in 1983. 1979 was a bumper year for the Strikers as they also acquired German centre forward Gerd Müller. These former World Cup stars helped the Strikers reach the Soccer Bowl, the NASL's championship match, in 1980 where they lost to the New York Cosmos 3–0.

Moved[edit]

After the 1983 season, the Strikers were moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Strikers. That club survived the end of the NASL by joining the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1984, but did eventually fold in 1988.

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Record Regular Season Finish Playoffs Avg. Attend.
1977 19–7 1st, Eastern Division, American Conference Divisional Playoff 8,148
1978 16–14 3rd, Eastern Division, American Conference American Conference Finals 10,479
1979 indoor 0–2 4th, Budweiser Invitational[2] n/a
1979 17–13 2nd, Eastern Division, American Conference American Conference Quarterfinals 13,774
1979–80 indoor 3–9 4th, Eastern Division n/a 2,069
1980 18–14 2nd, Eastern Division, American Conference Runners-up 14,360
1980–81 indoor 1–17 4th, Eastern Division n/a 1,699
1981 18–14 2nd, Southern Division Semifinals 13,345
1982 18–14 1st, Southern Division Semifinals 12,345
1983 indoor 1–7 4th, Indoor Grand Prix n/a
1983 14–16 2nd, Southern Division Quarterfinals 10,823

Honors[edit]

NASL Championships[3]

Regular Season Titles[4]

  • 1977 (19-7 • 161 points)

Division Titles[5]

  • 1977 Eastern Division, Atlantic Conference
  • 1982 Southern Division

Coach of the Year[6]

U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame[7]

Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame[8]

Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame[9]

All-Star First Team Selections[11]

All-Star Second Team Selections[12]

All-Star Honorable Mentions[13]

Head coaches[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]