Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2006–2016)

  (Redirected from Miami FC (2006))

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were 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 majority of their home games were played in Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers were named after the original Strikers, who played in the old North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Full nameFort Lauderdale Strikers
Dissolved2016; 5 years ago (2016)
OwnerBill Edwards
LeagueNorth American Soccer League
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The team was known as Miami FC from 2006 until 2011 before re-branding as the Strikers in 2011. They had an in-state rivalry with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.[1][2]


1977–1997: Fort Lauderdale Strikers legacyEdit

The original 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 some 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 each of their seven seasons in Fort Lauderdale. In 1984, the Strikers relocated to Minneapolis as the Minnesota Strikers.

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 team featured numerous former Strikers. In 1988, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers returned to professional soccer as part of the American Soccer League. During this period the Strikers enjoyed great success, including a national championship in the 1989 season, the only major trophy the Strikers have won. In 1991, the team merged with the Orlando Lions.

In 1994, another 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 FCEdit

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.

Cristiano Dias played almost 100 games for Miami FC

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.[5]

2011–2016: Return of the Fort Lauderdale StrikersEdit

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."[6] 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.[6]

On January 6, 2017, the NASL announced that the 2017 season would move forward with eight teams. Fort Lauderdale was not one of the teams listed.[7]

2017: Summary judgement and public saleEdit

In November 2016, Tampa Bay Rowdies 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 the Strikers’ 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.[8]

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.[9][10][11] He has yet to announce what he plans to do with Strikers brand in the future.

Colors and badgeEdit

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."[12] 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 of 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.[14] 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.[13][15]

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 cultureEdit

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.[16]

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.[17]


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,[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

Coastal CupEdit

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.[21] In the 2016 season a new Miami FC team joined the NASL.[22] This addition made the Coastal Cup a quadrilateral competition for one season.

Supporters groupEdit

Players and staffEdit

Notable former playersEdit

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 coachesEdit

Miami FC

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Head coach Interim head coach Period G W T L Win % Honors/notes
  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.
  Ricardo Lopes 2013 1 0 0 1 0.00
  Günter Kronsteiner 2013–14 43 16 11 16 37.21 Led the club to the 2014 NASL Championship Final and first Coastal Cup.
  Marcelo Neveleff 2015 9 2 2 5 20.00
  Iván Guerrero 2015 1 1 0 0 100.00
  Günter Kronsteiner 2015 20 8 8 6 40.00 best win percentage in modern Strikers history
  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 Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup Avg. Attendance
Miami FC
2006 2 USL First Division 5th Quarter-finals 2nd round 2,074
2007 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 1st round 916
2008 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 3rd round 1,701
2009 2 USL First Division 9th Did not qualify 2nd round 1,063
2010 2 USSF Division 2 4th Did not qualify 3rd round 1,254
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
2011 2 NASL 4th Runner-up Did not participate 3,985
2012 2 NASL 5th Quarter-finals 3rd round 3,615
2013 2 NASL Spring: 7th
Fall: 5th
Did not qualify 3rd round 4,265
2014 2 NASL Spring: 5th
Fall: 4th
Runner-up 3rd Round 3,825
2015 2 NASL Spring: 8th
Fall: 4th
Semi-finals 3rd Round 4,471
2016 2 NASL Spring: 6th
Fall: 6th
Did not qualify Quarter-finals 1,331

Most appearancesEdit

# Pos. Name Nation Career NASL Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Midfielder Darnell King   United States 2012–2014 73 3 4 80
2 Defender Iván Guerrero   Honduras 2013– 70 2 2 74
3 Defender Toni Ståhl   Finland 2011–13 64 6 3 73
4 Midfielder Wellington Paeckhart   Brazil 2011–2014 62 6 4 72
5 Goalkeeper Matt Glaeser   United States 2011–13 61 6 3 70
6 Midfielder Martín Núñez   Uruguay 2011, 2013–2014 61 7 1 69
7 Midfielder Mark Anderson   England 2012–2014 62 3 3 68
8 Midfielder Walter Restrepo   United States 2011–13 47 5 4 56
9 Forward Aly Hassan   United States 2012–15 47 3 2 52
10 Midfielder Shawn Chin   United States 2014–2015 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 scorersEdit

# Pos. Name Nation Career NASL Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Midfielder Mark Anderson   England 2012–2014 19 0 3 22
2 Midfielder Martín Núñez   Uruguay 2011, 2013–2014 14 2 0 16
Forward Stefano Pinho   Brazil 2015–2016 16 0 0 16
4 Forward Abe Thompson   United States 2011–2012 8 4 0 12
Forward Fafà Picault   United States 2014 12 0 0 12
6 Midfielder Walter Restrepo   United States 2011–2013 9 1 1 11
Forward Aly Hassan   United States 2012–2015 8 0 3 11
Forward Brian Shriver   United States 2011 6 5 0 11
9 Forward Andy Herron   Costa Rica 2012–2013 8 0 0 8
10 Midfielder Marlon 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 alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Strikers Official Name Announcement".
  6. ^ a b "NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers in financial jeopardy – reports". Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "Eight clubs will take the field in April". NASL. January 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Nutting, Jake. "NASL a Defendant in Bill Edwards' Lawsuit Against Fort Lauderdale Strikers". Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  9. ^ Nutting, Jake (June 16, 2017). "Foreclosed Strikers Set for Public Auction". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Krishnaiyer, Kartik (June 20, 2017). "FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS BEGIN NEW CHAPTER WITH BILL EDWARDS ACQUISITION". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "The Strikers name/remaining assets just sold to the plaintiff, i.e. Bill Edwards, for $5,100". June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  12. ^ Strikers Release New Logo Archived April 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b Larry Barszewski; Pedro Heizer (July 14, 2016). "Strikers leaving longtime home at Lockhart". The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  14. ^, NASL's Fort Lauderdale to pursue soccer-specific stadium, December 4, 2012,
  15. ^ Pedro Heizer (July 30, 2016). "Strikers bid adieu to Lockhart Stadium on high note". The Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "Photos of young supporters". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  17. ^ "Cheerleaders". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  18. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Strikers History: 1963–1976". Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  19. ^ Diaz, Armando (August 27, 2011). "Florida Derby". Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  20. ^ "Miami Ultras Home". Miami Ultras. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  21. ^ "Rowdies NASL: NASL Releases 2015 Fall Season Schedule". Archived from the original on February 5, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  22. ^ "MIAMI FC BECOMES 12TH NASL CLUB". May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  23. ^ "About – Flight 19 ::: Fort Lauderdale Strikers Supporters". Retrieved September 24, 2016.

External linksEdit