Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry

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Ft. Lauderdale Strikers – Tampa Bay Rowdies Rivalry
Other names

Florida Derby,[1]

Coastal Cup[2]
Locale Florida
Teams Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
(see History sec. for prev. teams)
First contested May 7, 1977[3][4]
Most recent meeting May 16, 2015
TB 1–0 FtL
Next meeting July 25, 2015 (@TB)
Statistics
Number of meetings
  • Official: 64
  • Total: 104
Most wins
  • Official: Tampa Bay (31)
  • Total: Tampa Bay (58)
All-time series
  • Official: 31–29–4 (TB)
  • Total: 58–42–4 (TB)
Regular season series League: 30–26–4 (TB)
Cup: 1–0–0 (FtL)
Postseason results 3–1–0 (TB)
Largest victory FtL 5–0 TB (August 31, 1983),
TB 0–5 FtL (August 23, 1992)

The Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry also known as the Florida Derby refers to the ongoing soccer rivalry that currently involves the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, both of whom play in the North American Soccer League.[1][5][6][7] Over the years the rivalry has spanned over one hundred matches across seven soccer leagues, and involved eight different teams from the two regions of Florida. At times it has involved players, coaches, management and fans.[8][9][10][11] Even the press has fanned the rivalry's flames at times.[12] From 2010 through 2014, the winner of the regular season series also automatically won the Coastal Cup.[2][13]

History[edit]

Pre-history (Miami vs. Tampa Bay)[edit]

The Florida Derby can actually trace its roots to June 1975, when the upstart Tampa Bay Rowdies first played the Miami Toros in the original North American Soccer League (1968–84). The Toros had finished the previous season as league runners-up, while the Rowdies were just an expansion team. The two squads came into the match tied for the best record in the league. Four minutes into that first-ever meeting, an on-field brawl[14][15] erupted and two players were sent off.[16][17] The accusations of foul play by both clubs continued throughout the season every time they played. This all came to head when they wound up meeting in the semi-finals of the NASL playoffs.[18] The Rowdies coolly dispatched the Toros 3–0, en route to the Soccer Bowl '75 title.[18] The two squads played six times over those first two years, including the one playoff match. The Toros' fortunes waned in 1976[19] and the franchise eventually moved to Fort Lauderdale to become the Strikers.[20] It was then that the rivalry really began to take shape.[21]

Original NASL[edit]

The Rowdies and the original Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83) first met in 1977 after the Miami Toros moved to Fort Lauderdale and changed their name.[22][23] It was around the time of that first outdoor meeting on May 7, 1977 that the term "Florida Derby" first appeared in local media reports.[3] As NASL franchises they faced each other on forty occasions, including 20 regular season games, 2 playoff games, 1 playoff mini-game,[24] 5 friendlies and 12 indoor[25] matches. During the 1983 NASL Grand Prix of Indoor Soccer, they also met in the finals of a $5,000 shoot-out challenge (which Tampa Bay won).[26] The intrastate rivalry appeared to have run its course following the 1983 outdoor season, when the Strikers moved to Minnesota for the 1984 NASL season.[27]

Post-NASL years[edit]

Five years later, the same Rowdies franchise and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1988–94), a new incarnation of the Strikers, were playing one another in the D2, American Soccer League.[28] The following year both teams joined the newly formed American Professional Soccer League. During this time the two clubs would meet up twenty-one times. In 1992 the two clubs also staged an NASL reunion match to benefit a local charity.[29] This era of the derby continued through the 1993 season, after which the original Rowdies folded. The Strikers of that time lasted only one more year themselves, before closing up shop as well.[30]

MLS era[edit]

The rivalry's fourth phase came to be in 1998 when the newly formed Miami Fusion joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Major League Soccer.[31] In spite of their name, the Fusion's home games were played in Ft. Lauderdale at Lockhart Stadium. Several of the derby's players from previous eras, such as Ray Hudson, Thomas Rongen, Perry Van der Beck, Eddie Austin, Farrukh Quarishi, Ivan McKinley and Nick Sakiewicz, ultimately found themselves employed by these MLS clubs. Even the "Florida Derby" moniker was resurrected during this era, despite neither team being directly linked to their footballing forebears.[32] Unfortunately these two sides squared of only thirteen times due to the fact that both squads were contracted before the 2002 MLS season, thus putting the regional battle on ice once again.

Current NASL[edit]

In 2010 the rivalry rose from the ashes yet again into its present form, as FC Tampa Bay (licensing issues kept them from using the Rowdies name and logo until December 2011)[33] and Miami FC (playing out of Fort Lauderdale) joined the North American Soccer League conference of the USSF Division 2 Professional League.[34][35] One year later the new NASL became the USSF's sole sanctioned D2 Pro League and Miami FC re-branded themselves as the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.[6][36] In doing so they became the fourth club to bear that historic name. As of the 2014 NASL season the current versions of the Rowdies and Strikers have played twenty-two times, including two friendlies and once in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.[37][38] In 2010 the term "Florida Derby" again resurfaced in the media as a reference to the regional rivalry.[1][39] From 2010 until 2014 the winner of the season series also laid claim to the Coastal Cup. The Rowdies won the first four,[2][40] and the Strikers captured their first Coastal Cup in 2014.[41] In 2015 however, the Coastal Cup will expand to include the NASL expansion, Jacksonville Armada FC.[42]

Miscellaneous[edit]

All-time to date, 21 matches in this derby have reached the end regulation time with the teams level on goals, but only 4 ended in a draw. The other 17 games used Extra Time, Golden Goal, Penalty Kick shoot-outs or NASL style shoot-outs to determine a winner. Among these tied matches, the Fort Lauderdale-based clubs hold a sizable edge of 11 wins, 4 draws, and 6 losses.

Although other Florida teams, including the Jacksonville Teamen, Orlando Lions and Miami Sharks/Freedom among others, have played against several of these clubs from Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale, for whatever reason none has ever been able to match their intensity level on a regular basis.

Supporters[edit]

Back in the rivalry's early days, the cheers were led by the "Fannies" in Tampa Bay,[43] while "Striker Likers" filled the stands in Fort Lauderdale.[44][45][46] Each side regularly made claims about the rudeness of the other's fans, such as being jeered at, pelted with rocks, spit on, doused with sodas or even chased down and attacked whenever visiting one another's domain.[47][48][49] The rivalry between these supporters has earned points for truly creative ugliness, not normally seen in American soccer. At one point, things quite literally got downright rank. In 1981, a couple of rotting fish, decked out in the Strikers' red, yellow and black, (presumably by Rowdies fans), were tossed up on the Ft. Lauderdale goal netting during a match for all to smell.[50][51]

Today the heart of the rivalry between the two sides exists primarily with the two clubs' supporter groups. Presently, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are supported by the groups Miami Ultras[52] and Flight 19.[53][54] The Rowdies are supported by Ralph's Mob, an independent supporters association that alludes to ""Ralph Rowdie"" -the mascot in the original Rowdies logo.[55][56]

Past results[edit]

NASL (1975–1976): Rowdies vs. Miami Toros[edit]

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
June 6, 1975 Orange Bowl Stadium 0–1 NASL Regular Season 14,259 [14]
June 11, 1975 Tampa Stadium 0–2 NASL Regular Season 18,654 [57]
July 23, 1975 Tampa Stadium 5–1 NASL Regular Season 11,415 [58]
August 16, 1975 Tampa Stadium 3–0 NASL Playoff Semi-finals 22,710 [59]
July 2, 1976 Tamiami Park 1–2 NASL Regular Season 3,500 (est.) [60][61]
July 24, 1976 Tampa Stadium 4–1 NASL Regular Season 15,951 [62]
Tampa Bay wins Draws Miami Toros wins
5 0 1

NASL (1977–1983): Rowdies vs. Strikers[edit]

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
May 7, 1977 Tampa Stadium 1–0 NASL Regular Season 24,753 [63]
July 1, 1977 Lockhart Stadium 3–2 NASL Regular Season 9,325 [64]
March 4, 1978 Dade North Stadium 2–0 NASL Friendly [65][66][67]
June 17, 1978 Tampa Stadium 3–2(OT) NASL Regular Season 22,506 [68][69]
July 26, 1978 Lockhart Stadium 1–2 NASL Regular Season 15,094 [70]
August 20, 1978 Lockhart Stadium 3–2 NASL Playoffs: Conf. Final, Game 1 16,286 [71][72]
August 23, 1978 Tampa Stadium 3–1 NASL Playoffs: Conf. Final, Game 2 37,249 [73]
August 23, 1978 Tampa Stadium 1–0(SO) NASL Playoffs: Conf. Final, Mini-game (37,249) [74]
April 28, 1979 Lockhart Stadium 1–2 NASL Regular Season 16,668 [75]
June 23, 1979 Tampa Stadium 1–2(OT) NASL Regular Season 41,102 [76]
September 14, 1979 Tampa Stadium 3–0 Rodney Marsh Testimonial 20,655 [77]
June 8, 1980 Lockhart Stadium 1–2(OT) NASL Regular Season 18,223 [78][79]
August 2, 1980 Tampa Stadium 1–0 NASL Regular Season 40,368 [80]
May 16, 1981 Tampa Stadium 1–0(SO) NASL Regular Season 24,102 [81]
May 20, 1981 Lockhart Stadium 3–2(OT) NASL Regular Season 14,144 [82]
August 9, 1981 Lockhart Stadium 1–0 NASL Regular Season 15,113 [83]
August 16, 1981 Tampa Stadium 3–2 NASL Regular Season 25,650 [84]
April 10, 1982 Tampa Stadium 2–3 NASL Regular Season 25,390 [85]
May 5, 1982 Lockhart Stadium 2–3 NASL Regular Season 15,205 [86]
June 9, 1982 Tampa Stadium 4–2 NASL Regular Season 15,211 [87]
July 31, 1982 Tampa Stadium 1–3 Sunshine International Series 21,220 [88]
August 18, 1982 Lockhart Stadium 2–1 NASL Regular Season 11,426 [89]
April 5, 1983 Florida Citrus Bowl 2–1 NASL Friendly [90][91]
April 16, 1983 Lockhart Stadium 1–2(OT) NASL Friendly 8,152 [92]
June 4, 1983 Lockhart Stadium 4–3 NASL Regular Season 11,047 [93][94]
July 9, 1983 Tampa Stadium 2–3 NASL Regular Season 8,319 [95]
August 24, 1983 Tampa Stadium 1–2 NASL Regular Season 5,780 [96]
August 31, 1983 Lockhart Stadium 5–0 NASL Regular Season 7,024 [97]
Tampa Bay wins Draws Ft. Lauderdale wins
15 0 13

NASL Indoor (1977–1983): Rowdies vs. Strikers[edit]

It is readily acknowledged that indoor soccer is a different sport than association football. These matches are included as part of the all-time rivalry due to the fact that they were sanctioned by the NASL and contested by players under contract for the two NASL franchises at the time.

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
February 27, 1977 Bayfront Center 9–8 NASL Indoor Friendly 5,016 [98]
January 27, 1979 Bayfront Center 6–4 NASL Budweiser Invitational 6,342 [99]
November 27, 1979 West Palm Beach Auditorium 4–6 NASL Indoor Regular Season 2,834 [100][101]
January 12, 1980 Bayfront Center 6–5 NASL Indoor Regular Season 6,243 [102]
February 6, 1980 West Palm Beach Auditorium 8–10 NASL Indoor Regular Season 1,468 [103]
December 19, 1980 Hollywood Sportatorium 5–12 NASL Indoor Regular Season 1,673 [104]
December 23, 1980 Bayfront Center 7–4 NASL Indoor Regular Season 5,063 [105][106]
February 7, 1981 Bayfront Center 7–4 NASL Indoor Regular Season 5,545 [107]
February 12, 1981 Hollywood Sportatorium 8–7(OT) NASL Indoor Regular Season 1,688 [108]
February 5, 1983 Bayfront Center 10–6 NASL Indoor Grand Prix 5,545 [109]
February 11, 1983 Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion 7–5 NASL Indoor Grand Prix 2,064 [110]
February 25, 1983 Lakeland Civic Center 8-5 NASL Indoor Friendly 3,506 [111]
Tampa Bay wins Draws Ft. Lauderdale wins
11 0 1

ASL/APSL (1988–1993): Rowdies vs. Strikers[edit]

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
April 30, 1988 Lockhart Stadium 1-0(PKs) ASL Regular Season 6,141 [112][113]
May 7, 1988 Tampa Stadium 0-1(PKs) ASL Regular Season 4,753 [114]
August 5, 1988 Lockhart Stadium 3-1 ASL Regular Season 3,877 [115]
May 13, 1989 Tampa Stadium 3–0 APSL Regular Season 5,624 [116][117]:219
July 22, 1989 Lockhart Stadium 0–3 APSL Regular Season 3,122 [118]
August 5, 1989 Lockhart Stadium 5–2 APSL Regular Season 4,133 [119]
July 21, 1990 Tampa Stadium 0–2 APSL Regular Season 2,760 [120][121]
July 26, 1990 Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium 1–2 APSL Regular Season 1,569 [120][121]
May 18, 1991 Lockhart Stadium 2–1 APSL Regular Season 4,113 [122]
June 22, 1991 USF Soccer Stadium 0–1 APSL Regular Season 3,791 [123]
July 6, 1991 Lockhart Stadium 2-1 APSL Regular Season 3,123 [124]
August 23, 1991 USF Soccer Stadium 2-1(OT) APSL Regular Season [125]
May 30, 1992 USF Soccer Stadium 0–1 APSL Regular Season 5,816 [126][127]
July 3, 1992 Lockhart Stadium 0–1 APSL Regular Season 2,470 [126][128]
August 16, 1992 Lockhart Stadium 1–2 NASL Alumni Reunion Match (1,286) [129][130][131]
August 16, 1992 Lockhart Stadium 2–1(OT) APSL Regular Season 1,286 [126][132]
August 23, 1992 USF Soccer Stadium 0–5 APSL Regular Season 4,089 [126]
September 4, 1992 Tampa Stadium 1–0 APSL Professional Cup Semi-Final 1,194 [126][133][134]
May 1, 1993 Lockhart Stadium 3–2 APSL Regular Season 5,102 [133][135]
June 12, 1993 Tampa Stadium 3–5 APSL Regular Season 6,019 [135][136]
August 28, 1993 Lockhart Stadium 0–2 APSL Regular Season 3,683 [135][137]
August 29, 1993 Tampa Stadium 6–2 APSL Regular Season 3,875 [135][138]
Tampa Bay wins Draws Ft. Lauderdale wins
9 0 13

MLS (1998–2001): Mutiny vs. Fusion[edit]

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
March 5, 1998 Pepin-Rood Stadium 1–2(SO) MLS Friendly [31]
March 26, 1998 Tampa Stadium 0–1(SO) MLS Regular Season 6,036 [139][140]
June 27, 1998 Lockhart Stadium 2–1(SO) MLS Regular Season 8,343 [139][141]
August 6, 1998 Tampa Stadium 3–1 MLS Regular Season 6,511 [139]
September 27, 1998 Lockhart Stadium 1–3 MLS Regular Season 7,849 [139]
May 1, 1999 Raymond James Stadium 2–1 MLS Regular Season 15,120 [142]
May 29, 1999 Lockhart Stadium 2–1 MLS Regular Season 8,628 [142]
June 5, 1999 Raymond James Stadium 1–0 MLS Regular Season 18,377 [142]
July 29, 1999 Lockhart Stadium 3–2(SO) MLS Regular Season 9,172 [142][143]
June 21, 2000 Raymond James Stadium 1–4 MLS Regular Season 5,269[144] [145]
June 24, 2000 Lockhart Stadium 2–3 MLS Regular Season 8,143 [145]
May 19, 2001 Lockhart Stadium 3–1 MLS Regular Season 12,412 [146]
May 26, 2001 Raymond James Stadium 0–4 MLS Regular Season 12,988 [146]
Tampa Bay Mutiny wins Draws Miami Fusion FC wins
5 0 8

USSF D2 Pro League/NASL (2010–present): Rowdies/FC Tampa Bay vs. Strikers/Miami FC[edit]

Date Venue Score Competition Attendance Ref.
May 1, 2010 Lockhart Stadium 1–1 D2 Pro League Regular Season 1,505 [147]
June 22, 2010 Lockhart Stadium 2–1(aet) U.S. Open Cup Second Round [148]
July 4, 2010 Steinbrenner Field 1–1 D2 Pro League Regular Season 5,123 [149]
July 25, 2010 Steinbrenner Field 2–0 D2 Pro League Regular Season 3,226 [150]
August 14, 2010 Lockhart Stadium 3–3 D2 Pro League Regular Season 1,855 [149]
June 29, 2011 Lockhart Stadium 1–1 NASL Regular Season 5,848 [151]
July 4, 2011 Al Lang Stadium[152] 4–2 NASL Regular Season 4,248 [153]
August 27, 2011 Lockhart Stadium 0-2 NASL Regular Season 3,685 [154]
September 24, 2011 Al Lang Stadium 2–0 NASL Regular Season 3,226 [155]
March 31, 2012 Lake Myrtle Sports Complex 4–3 NASL Friendly [156][157]
April 28, 2012 Al Lang Stadium 3–1 NASL Regular Season 3,536 [158]
June 2, 2012 Lockhart Stadium 3–1 NASL Regular Season 3,255 [159]
July 4, 2012 Al Lang Stadium 3-1 NASL Regular Season 4,710 [160]
September 1, 2012 Al Lang Stadium 0-3 NASL Regular Season 5,659 [161]
April 27, 2013 Lockhart Stadium 1-2 NASL Regular Season 4,563 [162]
July 4, 2013 Al Lang Stadium 4-0 NASL Regular Season 5,034 [163]
October 5, 2013 Lockhart Stadium 2–1 NASL Regular Season 3,612 [164]
October 12, 2013 Al Lang Stadium 2-1 NASL Regular Season 3,854 [165]
May 24, 2014 Al Lang Stadium 3-2 NASL Regular Season 4,331 [166]
July 4, 2014 Al Lang Stadium 3-1 NASL friendly 4,105 [167][168]
August 2, 2014 Lockhart Stadium 1–0 NASL Regular Season 2,648 [169]
October 8, 2014 Al Lang Stadium 2–3 NASL Regular Season 3,865 [170]
May 16, 2015 Al Lang Stadium 1-0 NASL Regular Season 6,851 [171]
July 25, 2015 Al Lang Stadium tba NASL Regular Season tba [172]
August 15, 2015 Lockhart Stadium tba NASL Regular Season tba [172]
Tampa Bay wins Draws Ft. Lauderdale wins
13 4 6

Florida Derby totals[edit]

All teams, all competitions[edit]

Tampa Bay Rowdies-Tampa Bay Mutiny-FC Tampa Bay wins Draws Miami Toros-Ft. Lauderdale Strikers-Miami Fusion-Miami FC wins
58 4 42

Official matches[edit]

Tampa Bay Rowdies-FC Tampa Bay wins* Draws Ft. Lauderdale Strikers-Miami FC wins
31 4 29

*1978 Playoff mini-game victory by Tampa Bay not included in "official" match totals because it was not a 90 minute match.

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External links[edit]