Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ft Lauderdale Strikers History: PART II: PRO SOCCER COMES TO MIAMI

The original 'History of the Ft Lauderdale Strikers Part II' was published on on July 7, 2009.

By Robert Scorca - In this second part soccer grows to the level many of us fans remember. Professional soccer comes to Miami, the Miami Gatos are born. The N.A.S.L. has crowds of over 70,000. No that is not a typo.


The birth of South Florida professional soccer starts with the birth of the Miami Gatos. They are owned by Garo Yepremian of Miami Dolphins fame. President of the club was John Bilotta. General manager was Norman Sutherland. They struggle at the gate and also in the standings.

Stadium: Miami Dade North Stadium

Players of Note: Warren Archibald, and Roberto Aguirre, 1972 Willie Evans 1st team all star
Team Colors: purple and white
North American Soccer League (Division I)
W T L Finish
1972 Miami Gatos 3 3 8 4th in Southern Division

The team changes name to Miami Toros, colors and ownership. The gate and standing are getting better. They have 4 people listed as General Partners most notably was Elizabeth Robbie. She was listed in this position as a rule prohibited her husband Joe Robbie from owning a second professional sports franchise. The 1974 team makes it all the way to the championship game losing to the Los Angeles Aztecs on penalty kicks 4-3. The game was played in the Orange Bowl and sadly was the closest we would come to winning the N.A.S.L. Championship. 1973 Warren Archibald wins MVP award.

Stadium: Orange Bowl and Tamiami Stadium
Player of Note: Ronnie Sharp and Steve David. 1973 David Sadler, Warren Archibald 1st team all stars, 1974 Ronnie Sharp, Roberto Aguirre 1st team all stars.
1973,1974 Team Colors: red and white

North American Soccer League (Division I)
W T L Finish
1973 Miami Toros 8 6 5 3rd in Eastern Div.
1974 Miami Toros 9 6 5 1st in Eastern Div.

Early in 1975 the New York Cosmos failed in an attempt to sign George Best.
June 3, 1975 was to be the biggest day in professional soccer history in the United States as the New York Cosmos of North American Soccer League signed Pele.This was international news and led to many major signings in the league. Even though he had yet to play for any team in the N.A.S.L., his signing lead to many international stars joining the league. On a lesser note the N.A.S.L. did away with tie games and the Miami Toros changed colors. 1975 Steve David wins MVP and scoring title. Steve David goes to the Los Angeles Aztec, Warren Archibald goes to Rochester Lancers and Bill Nuttal plays for 2 years than leaves to coach at F.I.U.

Player of Note: Bill Nutttal, Ronnie Sharp, Steve David 1st team all stars
Team Colors: 1975 maroon and white
1976 fire engine red and white
Played in the Orange Bowl

North American Soccer League (Division I)
W L Finish
1975 Miami Toros 14 8 2nd in Eastern Div.
1976 Miami Toros 6 18 5th in Eastern Div.

Coming Up Next : Part III Pro Soccer Leaves Miami
and Comes to Ft. Lauderdale

Credit the following for help on this article: " The History of American Soccer " by Steve Holroyd and Dave Litterer. Also of help was a site hosted by Jeffrey Duly.

Stay Tuned for PART III: Pro Soccer Leaves Miami...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We want MLS!!!!