Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ft Lauderdale Strikers History: PART III: PRO SOCCER LEAVES MIAMI

The original 'History of the Ft Lauderdale Strikers Part III' was published on www.miamisoccerfan.com date: July 23, 2009.

PART III: Pro Soccer Leaves Miami...
By Robert Scorca - After suffering their worst record in history and years of poor attendance it was time for a big change. After 5 years in Miami the Toros moved to Broward. A new name, new stadium (Lockhart), colors etc. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were to become one of the cornerstone teams in the N.A.S.L. Team goes through major changes as the Strikers become an instant success at the gate and in the standings. They went from 19th of 20 teams to 1st place tie out of 18 teams. Lockhart Stadium expanded from 8,000 to 11,000 seats to make room for the large crowds. On the road a playoff game between the Strikers and Cosmos drew 77,691 a record that still stands for a soccer match in the United States.
Coach: Ron Newman. Assistance Coach was Gordon Banks
Players of Note: Gordon Banks, Ray Hudson, David Irving and David Chadwick add an English flavor to the club. 1977 saw Ronnie Sharp retire. General Manager was Krikor Yepremian. Strikers Radio WSRF 1580 AM the voice of the team was Rick Weaver color commentary was provided by Garo Yepremian.

1978 saw expansion to Lockhart as 4,000 more seats were added to total 15,000. The big addition was acquiring George Best in a trade with the Los Angles Aztecs. Roberto Aguirre retires being the only person to play for the Gatos, Toros and Strikers. 1979 saw Arnie Mausser replace Gordon Banks who retires. Coach Ron Newman is fired, becoming a thorn in our side as coach of the San Diego Sockers. Also gone are David Irving (Tulsa Roughnecks) and David Chadwick who becomes joint head coach of the Atlanta Chiefs.

Players of Note: Teofilo "Nene" Cubillas, and Gerd "der Bomber" Muller. 1977 Gordon Banks 1st team all star
Team Colors:
1977 hot orange, yellow and black
1978 red, yellow and black

North American Soccer League (Division I)
W L Finish
1977 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 19 7 1st Eastern Div.
1978 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 16 14 3rd Eastern Div.
1979 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 17 13 2nd Eastern Div.
The NASL was on the down slide. The NASL lost their drawing card when Pele retired after the 1977 but attendance did not drop. Over expansion is the big problem as many people with no soccer experience bought their way into the league.

The next 2 years the Fort Lauderdale Strikers play both an outdoor (1979,1980) and indoor schedule (1979-80, 1980-81) The 1980 team was the only Strikers team to make it to the Soccer Bowl losing to the Cosmos 3-0. The indoor team was a different story. In 2 seasons they had a combined 4-26 record. The Hollywood Sportatorium was used for indoor soccer and also left a lot to be desired. 1980 Arnie Mausser plays for the New England Tea Men and Gerd Muller returns to Germany.Players of Note: Jan Van Beveren joins the club in 1980 and Branko Segota (from the Rochester Lancers) and Bernd Holzenhein in 1981.
1980 Teofilo Cubillas 1st team all star
1981 Jan Van Beveren, Teofilo Cubillas 1st team all stars
North American Soccer League (Division I)
W L Finish
1979 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 17 13 2nd Eastern Div.
1979-80 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 3 9 4th Eastern Div.
1980 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 18 14 2nd Eastern Div.
1980-81 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 1 17 4th Eastern Div.
1981 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 18 14 2nd Eastern Div.

The NASL days were numbered. 1982 saw the NASL lose 7 teams. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers play their final season.
Player of Note: Brian Kidd who comes here from the Atlanta Chiefs in 1982.
1983 Jan Van Beveren 1st team all star

North American Soccer League (Division I)
W L Finish
1982 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 18 14 1st South Div.
1983 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 14 16 2nd South Div.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers become the Minnesota Strikers. The NASL looks to indoor soccer for the survival of the league. Unable to find a sufficient facility the Robbies move north. Branko Segota goes to the Golden Bay Earthquakes. The team plays in the Hubert H. Humprey Metrodome Stadium and retains the same colors adding yellow to their away jerseys. Teofilo Cubillas opts to remain here playing for the Fort Lauderdale Sun of the United Soccer League.
Player of Note: Tino Letteri coming to Minnesota from the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1983
1984 Ray Hudson 1st team all star

North American Soccer League (Division I)
W L Finish
1984 Minnesota Strikers 14 10 3rd Western Div.

Would like to credit the following for help on this article: " The History of American Soccer " by Steve Holroyd and Dave Litterer. Also of help was www.ftlauderdalestrikers.com a site hosted by Jeffrey Duly.

Stay Tuned for PART IV: THE NASL IS GONE, WHAT NEXT?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Claure, Ross, Beckham. Please bring MLS back to South Florida.

Sam Pit said...

Australia V Italy Hospitality Packages with the best prices available at Corporate Hospitality Group. We are specialized in Australia V Italy Hospitality and Tickets. You can buy hospitality packages including tickets for Rugby World Cup.

Marry john said...

South Africa V Samoa Hospitality Packages with the best prices available at Corporate Hospitality Group. We are specialized in South Africa V Samoa Hospitality and Tickets. You can buy hospitality packages including tickets for Rugby World Cup.

http://www.corporatehospitalitygroup.com/Rugby-Hospitality/Rugby-World-Cup-Hospitality/729/South-Africa-V-Samoa-Hospitality/South-Africa-V-Samoa-North-Harbour-Stadium-North-Shore-Friday-September-30-2011-Tickets.htm