Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83)
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|Full name||Fort Lauderdale Strikers|
(Previously Miami Toros)
(rebranded as Minnesota Strikers)
Pembroke Pines, Florida
|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, 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.
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.
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||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||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|
|1980||18–14||2nd, Eastern Division, American Conference||Runners-up||14,360|
|1980–81 indoor||1–17||4th, Eastern Division||n/a|
|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|
Regular Season Titles
Coach of the Year
U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame
Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame
Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame
All-Star First Team Selections
All-Star Second Team Selections
All-Star Honorable Mentions
- Ron Newman (1977–1979)
- Cor van der Hart (1980)
- Eckhard Krautzun (1981–1982)
- David Chadwick (1983–1984)
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers competing in the NASL
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1994-1997)
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1988-1994)
- Miami Fusion Now defunct MLS team (1997–2001)
- Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry
- A page devoted to the history of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- A blog for Fort Lauderdale Striker fans