Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Full name Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Nickname(s) Strikers
Founded 2006; 10 years ago (2006)
Stadium Lockhart Stadium
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Ground Capacity 20,450
Owners Paulo Cesso
Rafael Bertani
Ricardo Stanford-Geromel
Head Coach Caio Zanardi
League North American Soccer League
2015 Spring Championship: 8th
Fall Championship: 4th
Combined: 4th
Playoffs: Semifinals
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 Strikers 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.

The team was known as Miami F.C. from 2006 until 2011 before re-branding as the Strikers in 2011. They have a fierce in-state rivalry with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.[1][2]


1977–1983: Original Fort Lauderdale Strikers[edit]

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were founded in 1977 when the Robbie family relocated the Miami Toros north to Fort Lauderdale and rebranded the team. The team competed in the old North American Soccer League and played its home matches at Lockhart Stadium.

Between 1977 and 1983, the Strikers fielded many of the world’s best players including Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, Elías Figueroa George Best and Gordon Banks.[3] The team was captained by Ray Hudson, who led the Strikers to the playoffs in their seven seasons in Fort Lauderdale.

In 1984, the Strikers relocated to Minneapolis as the Minnesota Strikers.

1988–1994: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (ASL/APSL)[edit]

In 1988, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers returned to professional soccer, led by many of the players from the original NASL Strikers including Arnie Mausser, Teófilo “Nene” Cubillas, and Ray Hudson.

During this period the Strikers enjoyed great success, finishing first in the division in their first four years in the league, including a National Championship in the 1989 season, the only major trophy the Strikers have won to date. In 1991, the team merged with the Orlando Lions.

1994–1997: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (USISL)[edit]

In 1994, the team began play in the United States Interregional Soccer League as the Fort Lauderdale Kicks. The next year, with the folding of the American Professional Soccer League Strikers, the Kicks took the name Fort Lauderdale Strikers for themselves. This only lasted one year as the team changed names again, becoming the Florida Strikers before the 1996 season. The team folded in 1997.

2006–2010: Miami FC[edit]

After Major League Soccer side Miami Fusion were folded in 2001, professional soccer returned to South Florida in the form of a United Soccer Leagues team in 2006 when Traffic Sports USA founded Miami FC. The club made headlines when former World Cup winners Romario and Zinho signed for the team.

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 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 relocated the team to Fort Lauderdale and rebranded themselves the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on February 17, 2011.[4]

2011–present: Fort Lauderdale Strikers return[edit]

Tim Robbie, son of original Strikers owner Joe Robbie, was named president of the Strikers ahead of the inaugural season. In their first season as the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the club reached the 2011 NASL Championship Series, losing 3–1 on aggregate to the NSC Minnesota Stars (now Minnesota United FC).

In his second full season in charge, Head Coach Daryl Shore led the Strikers to the playoffs the following season. After a fifth place regular season finish in 2012, the Strikers were bounced from the first round of postseason action by Carolina RailHawks.

Ahead of the 2013 season, the Strikers named Tom Mulroy president of the club. Following a 2–2–7 record, coach Shore was let go by the club before the final match of the 2013 Spring Season. His replacement was Austrian Günter Kronsteiner, who led the club to a fifth-place finish in the Fall Season with a 5–3–6 record.

2014 was a momentous year in the history of the Strikers. A new ownership group was announced on September 19, 2014.[citation needed] On the field, Kronsteiner took the Strikers to a place in the NASL Championship, finishing runner-up to the San Antonio Scorpions.

The club made global headlines announcing that Brazil soccer icon Ronaldo had joined the ownership of the club on December 11, 2014.[5] In a press release, Ronaldo was quoted as saying, “I will be very involved with the management of the team and have already started to make introductions that will certainly help us to turn the Strikers into a global powerhouse.” It was announced on January 15, 2015 that, if he could get fit, Ronaldo would begin playing for the Strikers.

Colors and badge[edit]

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.[12]

Coastal Cup[edit]

The Coastal Cup (est. 2010) originally was contested between the Strikers and Rowdies, but with Jacksonville Armada FC's entry into the league in 2015, the competition has become triangular.[13] The league has announced that beginning in the 2016 season a new Miami FC team will join the NASL.[14] This addition would make the Coastal Cup a quadrilateral competition.

Supporters group[edit]

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of February 4, 2016[16]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Cardoso, BrunoBruno Cardoso      Brazil
2 Defender , DaltonDalton      Brazil
3 Midfielder Hlavaty, NeilNeil Hlavaty      United States
5 Defender Attakora, NanaNana Attakora      Canada
6 Midfielder PC, PC      Brazil
7 Forward Moura, GeisonGeison Moura      Brazil
8 Midfielder , KlébersonKléberson      Brazil
10 Midfielder Adrianinho, Adrianinho      Brazil
12 Goalkeeper Restrepo, DiegoDiego Restrepo      United States
14 Defender James, JuliusJulius James      Trinidad and Tobago
16 Midfielder Fernandes, Luis FelipeLuis Felipe Fernandes      United States
19 Forward Angulo, JoséJosé Angulo      United States
20 Midfielder Blandon, ChristianChristian Blandon      United States
21 Defender Zapata, LuisLuis Zapata      Colombia
23 Midfielder Gonzalez, MannyManny Gonzalez      United States
24 Defender Vértiz, Aurelio SacoAurelio Saco Vértiz      Peru
27 Midfielder Pineda, VictorVictor Pineda      United States
29 Forward Santos, MaiconMaicon Santos      Brazil
44 Defender Agbossoumonde, GaleGale Agbossoumonde      United States
77 Defender Gabriel, Gabriel      Brazil
92 Forward Gentile, GiuseppeGiuseppe Gentile      United States
98 Goalkeeper Reynares, MatiasMatias Reynares      United States

Technical Staff[edit]

  • Brazil Caio Zanardi – Head Coach and General Manager
  • Canada Phillip Dos Santos – Assistant Coach
  • Brazil Ricardo Lopes – Goalkeepers Coach
  • Brazil Cassiano Costa – Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Brazil Bruno Costa – Assistant General Manager and Head of Scouting

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]

Miami FC

  • Brazil Chiquinho de Assis (2006–07)
  • Brazil Zinho (2008–09)
  • Nicaragua Victor Pastora (2010)
  • United States Daryl Shore (2010)

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Head Coach Interim Head Coach Period G W T L Win % Honors/Notes
United States Daryl Shore 2011–13 77 25 23 29 32.47 Longest-tenured coach in modern Strikers history. Led the club to the 2011 NASL Championship Series.
Brazil Ricardo Lopes 2013 1 0 0 1 0.00
Austria Günter Kronsteiner 2013–14 43 16 11 16 37.21 Led the club to the 2014 NASL Championship Final and first Coastal Cup.
Argentina Marcelo Neveleff 2015 9 2 2 5 20.00
Honduras Iván Guerrero 2015 1 1 0 0 100.00
Austria Günter Kronsteiner 2015 20 8 8 6 40.00 Best win percentage in modern Strikers history.
Brazil Caio Zanardi 2016- 0 0 0 0 0.00



NASL Championship

  • Runner-up: 2011; 2014

Coastal Cup

  • Winners: 2014, 2015

Ponce De Leon Cup

  • Winners: 2008


Golden Boot Award




Year Name Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup Avg. Attendance
2006 Miami FC 2 USL First Division 5th Quarter-finals 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 Quarter-finals 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
2015 Strikers 2 NASL Spring: 8th
Fall: 4th
Semi-finals 3rd Round 4,471

Most appearances[edit]

# Pos. Name Nation Career NASL Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Midfielder King, DarnellDarnell King  United States 2012–2014 73 3 4 80
2 Defender Guerrero, IvánIván Guerrero  Honduras 2013– 70 2 2 74
3 Defender Ståhl, ToniToni Ståhl  Finland 2011–13 64 6 3 73
4 Midfielder Paeckhart, WellingtonWellington Paeckhart  Brazil 2011–2014 62 6 4 72
5 Goalkeeper Glaeser, MattMatt Glaeser  United States 2011–13 61 6 3 70
6 Midfielder Núñez, MartínMartín Núñez  Uruguay 2011, 2013–2014 61 7 1 69
7 Midfielder Anderson, MarkMark Anderson  England 2012–2014 62 3 3 68
8 Midfielder Restrepo, WalterWalter Restrepo  United States 2011–13 47 5 4 56
9 Forward Hassan, AlyAly Hassan  United States 2012–15 47 3 2 52
10 Midfielder Chin, ShawnShawn Chin  United States 2014- 47 2 2 51

Last updated: October 19, 2015.
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 2012–2014 19 0 3 22
2 Midfielder Núñez, MartínMartín Núñez  Uruguay 2011, 2013–2014 14 2 0 16
Forward Pinho, StefanoStefano Pinho  Brazil 2015– 16 0 0 16
4 Forward Thompson, AbeAbe Thompson  United States 2011–12 8 4 0 12
Forward Picault, FafàFafà Picault  United States 2014 12 0 0 12
6 Midfielder Restrepo, WalterWalter Restrepo  United States 2011–13 9 1 1 11
Forward Hassan, AlyAly Hassan  United States 2012–2015 8 0 3 11
Forward Shriver, BrianBrian Shriver  United States 2011 6 5 0 11
9 Forward Herron, AndyAndy Herron  Costa Rica 2012–13 8 0 0 8
10 Midfielder Freitas, MarlonMarlon Freitas  Brazil 2015- 7 0 0 7

Last updated: October 20, 2015.
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. ^
  4. ^ "Strikers Official Name Announcement". 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Strikers Release New Logo Archived April 5, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^, NASL's Fort Lauderdale to pursue soccer-specific stadium, December 4, 2012,
  8. ^ "Photos of young supporters". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ "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. ^ "Rowdies NASL: NASL Releases 2015 Fall Season Schedule". Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  14. ^ "MIAMI FC BECOMES 12TH NASL CLUB". May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Roster | Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Retrieved July 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]