Fort Lauderdale Strikers
|Full name||Fort Lauderdale Strikers|
|Founded||2006 (as Miami FC)|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|Owners||Traffic Sports USA|
|Head Coach||Günter Kronsteiner|
|League||North American Soccer League|
|2013||Spring Championship: 7th
Fall Championship: 5th
|Website||Club home page|
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 History
- 2 Colors and badge
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Club culture
- 5 Players and staff
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Record
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
1973–1997: South Florida soccer heritage
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 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.
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.
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.
Colors and badge
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." 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.
- Tropical Park Stadium; Olympia Heights, Florida (2006–2008)
- Miami Orange Bowl; Miami, Florida (2007; 2 games)
- Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2009–present)
- FIU Stadium; Miami, Florida (2009; 1 game)
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.
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, 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. 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..
- Flight 19: Based in Fort Lauderdale, the group formed in late 2010/early 2011 in anticipation of the return of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. It is named after the famous Flight 19 incident where five TBM Avenger aircraft disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle after taking off from NAS Fort Lauderdale (now Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport) in 1945.
- 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
- Tom Mulroy – Team President
- Tim Robbie – Managing Director
- Miguel Lopez – Director of Operations
- Günter Kronsteiner - Sports Director and Head Coach
- Raoul Voss – Assistant Coach
- Ricardo Lopes – Goalkeepers Coach
Notable former players
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
- Chiquinho de Assis (2006–2007)
- Zinho (2008–2009)
- Victor Pastora (2010)
- Daryl Shore (2010–2013)
- Günter Kronsteiner (2013–present)
- NASL Championship
- Runner-up (1): 2011
- Ponce De Leon Cup
- Winners (1): 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|
|Did not qualify||3rd Round||4,265|
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977-1983)
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1988-1994)
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1994-1997)
- Miami Fusion Now defunct MLS team (1997–2001)
- Brousseau, Dave (September 1, 2012). "Tampa Bay Rowdies 3, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0; NASL; Lockhart Stadium". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "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.
- "USL outcasts set to launch new league in 2010". Soccerbyives.net. November 10, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Division 2 Professional League To Operate in 2010". ussoccer.com. January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
- "Strikers Official Name Announcement". miamifc.com.
- Strikers Release New Logo[dead link]
- MLSSoccer.com, NASL's Fort Lauderdale to pursue soccer-specific stadium, Dec. 4, 2012, http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/12/04/strikers-announce-plans-pursue-soccer-specific-stadium
- "Photos of young supporters". Strikers.com. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- 02:01 PM. "Cheerleaders". Bigsoccer.com. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Fort Lauderdale Strikers History: 1963–1976". Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- Diaz, Armando (August 27, 2011). "Florida Derby". Insidemnsoccer.com. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Miami Ultras Home". Miami Ultras. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- "Roster | Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Strikers.com. Retrieved November 26, 2012.