We thank Robert Scorca for taking the time to do this project.
The original 'History of the Ft Lauderdale Strikers' was published on www.miamisoccerfan.com on June 25, 2009.
By Robert Scorca - The history of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers goes back before Fort Lauderdale. The team even goes back before the North American Soccer League. The N.A.S.L. was soccer in it's heyday. Players like Pele, George Best, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, "Nene" Cubilas, etc., all graced the fields in the United States and Canada but I am getting ahead of myself. Before we get there we start with humble beginnings
PART I HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Things started out with very humble beginnings. Up north the Washington Britannica was formed. They were an amateur club playing locally on any field that was available. They were formed in 1963. I could not find any records or players for this team as information is almost nonexistent. Even proving the existence of the Britannica proved to be a challenge. Here is the only information I was able to gather. Playing in the Washington DC league
1963 Washington Britannica
1964 Washington Britannica
1965 Washington Britannica
1966 Washington Britannica
9 wins 3 ties 0 lost 18 pts winning
That year they won the Maryland State Open (Rowland ) Cup and the Virginia Festival Cup.
The Washington club goes through a name change and becomes a professional team. In 1968 Lincoln Phillips became the first African American to coach professional Soccer in the United States. He was also the teams goalkeeper. The Washington Darts played 2 years composed of 3 seasons.
American Soccer League (Division II)
W T L Finish
1967-68 Washington Darts 7 2 6 3rd
1968 Washington Darts 9 1 1 Champion
1969 Washington Darts 14 5 1 Champion versus the Syracuse Scorpions winning the first leg on the road by 2-0 and then winning at home by the same score.
The Washington Darts join the N.A.S.L. finish with the best record but get eliminated in the playoffs by the Rochester Lancers. The Washington Darts were founded by Norman Sutherland. In 1970 the team had 30 owners and 15 players!
Team Colors: Silver, Blue and White.
North American Soccer League
W T L Finish
1970 Washington Darts 14 4 6 1st Southern Div.
1971 Washington Darts 8 10 6 3rd Southern Div.
BR: John Muir, Leroy DeLeon, Vic Gamaldo, Selris Figaro, Lincoln Phillips, Winston Alexis, Bert Grell, Frank Donlevey, Willie Evans
FR: Warren Archibald, Gerry Browne, Roland Crispin, Johnny Kerr, Victorio Casa, Billy Fraser, Joseph Gyau
1970 Washington Darts
I would like to extend the help I received to work this article. Many game programs along with media guides were used for this article. Also of great help was " The History of American Soccer " by Steve Holroyd and Dave Litterer.
Stay Tuned for PART II: PRO SOCCER COMES TO MIAMI