Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Full name Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Nickname(s) Strikers
Founded 2006; 11 years ago (2006)
Owner Bill Edwards
League North American Soccer League
2016 Spring Championship: 6th
Fall Championship: 6th
Combined: 6th
Playoffs: DNQ
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, that last played in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American soccer pyramid in 2016. The team is currently in limbo as the result of a summary judgement and sale stemming from a lawsuit brought on by Tampa Bay Rowdies owner, Bill Edwards. They most recently played their home games in Central Broward Stadium. The Strikers are named for the original Strikers, who played in the old North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983.

The team was known as Miami FC 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.

1984–1985: Fort Lauderdale Sun (USL)[edit]

Following the Strikers departure to Minnesota, former Striker Ronnie Sharp[4] launched the Fort Lauderdale Sun of the newly formed United Soccer League in 1984. The Sun played their home games at Lockhart Stadium. With new ownership the team was rebranded the South Florida Sun[5] for the 1985 season and won the USL title both years before league collapsed. Over two seasons 17 ex-NASLers wore a Sun jersey, nine of whom were former Strikers, including Cubillas, Thomas Rongen, Colin Fowles, Curtis Leeper, Jim Tietjens and player/coach Keith Weller.[6]

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, "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 2009, the team moved to Fort Lauderdale to play out of Lockhart Stadium. In summer 2010, Miami FC announced its intention to 'pay homage' to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the former NASL by incorporating 'Strikers' into the team name from 2011. They rebranded themselves the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on February 17, 2011, and joined the newly established North American Soccer League.[7]

2011–2016: 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.[3] 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.

On September 22, 2016 ESPN FC reported that "The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are in serious financial jeopardy, while the future of the entire National American Soccer League is also in doubt, according to reports."[8] As reported by WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, and confirmed by Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald, Strikers principal owner Paulo Cesso stopped funding the team on September 1.[9]

On January 6, 2017, the NASL announced that the 2017 season will move forward with eight teams. Fort Lauderdale was not one of the teams listed, and the current status of the team is unknown.[10]

2017 Summary judgement and public sale[edit]

In November 2016 Tampa Bay owner, Bill Edwards, filed a complaint against the Strikers' holding company, Miami FC, LLC, over money loaned to the struggling club. Edwards claimed that the team had failed to pay him back $300,000 in loans. He sought damages and foreclosure on Fort Lauderdale’s assets in the lawsuit. A signed promissory note showed that the collateral they put up to secure the loans included the team’s patents, copyrights, trademarks, rights to use of the name “Ft Lauderdale Strikers” along with other tangible assets.[11]

In May 2017 Edwards was awarded a summary judgement in the case, and after a June 20 public sale, gained control of the copyrights, trademarks and any rights to the use of the name “Fort Lauderdale Strikers” or any variation for $5,100.[12][13][14] He has yet to announce what he plans to do with Strikers brand in the future.

Colors and badge[edit]

The official colors of the Strikers are red, gold, charcoal gray, metallic gold 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."[15] 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.


The Strikers currently play their home games at Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. Built in 1959 as an athletic facility for local high schools, Lockhart 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.[17] The Strikers moved to Central Broward Stadium after their lease with Lockhart ended in 2016; the Striker's final game at Lockhart was a 1-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC on July 30, 2016.[16][18]

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 NASL games for FC Edmonton in 2011 and Ottawa Fury FC in 2014. Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale also hosted the first road game for the Indy Eleven expansion team (after playing their first two matches at home in Indianapolis).[citation needed]

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.[19]

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.[20]


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,[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] In the 2016 season a new Miami FC team joined the NASL.[25] This addition made the Coastal Cup a quadrilateral competition for one season.

Supporters group[edit]

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of January 12, 2017 [27]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Cardoso, BrunoBruno Cardoso  Brazil
3 Midfielder Hlavaty, NeilNeil Hlavaty  United States
7 Forward Moura, GeisonGeison Moura  Brazil
8 Midfielder , KlébersonKléberson  Brazil
9 Midfielder Núñez, RamónRamón Núñez  Honduras
10 Midfielder , AdrianinhoAdrianinho  Brazil
11 Forward Jr., PauloPaulo Jr.  Brazil
18 Midfielder Alexandre, Jean-MarcJean-Marc Alexandre  Haiti
21 Defender Zapata, LuisLuis Zapata  Colombia
23 Midfielder Gonzalez, MannyManny Gonzalez  United States
24 Defender Vértiz, Aurelio SacoAurelio Saco Vértiz  Peru
77 Defender Gabriel, Gabriel  Brazil

Technical staff[edit]

As of [citation needed]
  • 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.

As of [citation needed]

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Miami FC

Head coaches[edit]

As of [citation needed]

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- 36 12 10 14 33.33



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
2016 Strikers 2 NASL Spring: 6th
Fall: 6th
Did not qualify Quarter-finals 1,331

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. ^ a b Copesa, Grupo. "Ronaldo debuta como dirigente comprando equipo donde jugó Elías Figueroa". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ "1984-1985 Fort Lauderdale Sun / South Florida Sun • Fun While It Lasted". June 8, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 53". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Teams Try To Wrest Usl Title From Sun". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Strikers Official Name Announcement". 
  8. ^ "NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers in financial jeopardy - reports". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  9. ^ "NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers in financial jeopardy - reports". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Eight clubs will take the field in April". NASL. January 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ Nutting, Jake. "NASL a Defendant in Bill Edwards’ Lawsuit Against Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Nutting, Jake (June 16, 2017). "Foreclosed Strikers Set for Public Auction". Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  13. ^ Krishnaiyer, Kartik (June 20, 2017). "FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS BEGIN NEW CHAPTER WITH BILL EDWARDS ACQUISITION". Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  14. ^ "The Strikers name/remaining assets just sold to the plaintiff, i.e. Bill Edwards, for $5,100.". June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ Strikers Release New Logo Archived April 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ a b Larry Barszewski; Pedro Heizer (July 14, 2016). "Strikers leaving longtime home at Lockhart". The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  17. ^, NASL's Fort Lauderdale to pursue soccer-specific stadium, December 4, 2012,
  18. ^ Pedro Heizer (July 30, 2016). "Strikers bid adieu to Lockhart Stadium on high note". The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Photos of young supporters". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Cheerleaders". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Strikers History: 1963–1976". Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ Diaz, Armando (August 27, 2011). "Florida Derby". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Miami Ultras Home". Miami Ultras. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Rowdies NASL: NASL Releases 2015 Fall Season Schedule". Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ "MIAMI FC BECOMES 12TH NASL CLUB". May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  26. ^ "About - Flight 19 ::: Fort Lauderdale Strikers Supporters". Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Roster | Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Retrieved July 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]