Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you The Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

...Or at least we hope to hear this soon.

The news is in, the new North American Soccer League has been sanctioned (More on that HERE) or should I say 'Provisionally' sanctioned, whatever that means. The USSF says the official sanctioning will be in February. So unless there is some major drama, it's all good.

The NASL will have 8 teams in 2011: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, FC Tampa Bay, Miami FC, Montreal Impact, NSC Minnesota Stars and the 2010 champions Puerto Rico Islanders. The late addition of AC St Louis was thought as an almost certainty which would have brought the league to 9 teams in 2011. But reports are saying St Louis is done.

With all this mentioned, concern lies in whether the NASL will really "undertake an extensive marketing campaign in the months leading up to its inaugural weekend". More important is my concern that the soon to be announced Strikers will not get the attention it deserves.

It's no secret Traffic Sports, owners of Miami FC and majority owner of the new NASL have been somewhat stingy when it came to Miami FC. With exception of their inaugural season, when they brought in aging star Romario, little has been done to actually capture the attention of the general public in this admittedly unfriendly sports town. Sparks of promise came with the signing of Fusion great Diego Serna in 2009 and the same happened with the signing of Christian Gomez in 2010. But in both cases Miami FC failed to market these (arguably) high profile players.
In recent random unscientific polls made by the Miami Ultras throughout Broward and Miami Dade counties, we asked the average person outside of supermarkets, at pubs and random places if they were soccer fans? If they were, we asked if they had heard of Miami FC? Out of 10 people claiming to be soccer fans I asked in Miami Dade 1 had actually heard of Miami FC and asked me if Romario still played with the team?... Most people don't know Miami FC exists and no matter how much I try to reach out via this blog or passing out flyers there is not much a fan can do to make their team any more known in the community. Word of mouth is not enough.
Soccer is a poor mans sport. It is the working man of Europe, South America and other regions that fill the stadiums of the world in an effort to escape their daily 9 to 5 jobs. So when you go to Traffic Sports offices in Miami's exclusive Brickell and pay $20 for parking... Well, you kinda get the picture that these folks are not in touch with the average "Joe" fan.
Makes you wonder why? Why having offices in such a prestigious area in Miami does not equal to Miami FC being the flag ship team of the USL or NASL? Hell, why not MLS? Shouldn't this team be full of superstars? Or is all the money in the budget going to paying the rent?

But fear not fans, Miami FC has moved the 'TEAM' offices (Not Traffic Sports and perhaps NASL headquarters, they remain in Brickell) to Ft Lauderdale Stadium just across the road from the 'Mecca' of South Florida soccer; Lockhart Stadium. Now, the soon to be Strikers staff will be in the middle of a working class area. The place they should have been from the start. Can this be a sign of things to come? Is Traffic finally getting the picture?

I still worry. The more I read and find out about the Strikers, the more I realize that the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were arguably one of the most talented sides in the old NASL. If the Cosmos were the Real Madrid of its day then the Strikers was Barcelona. You can't really argue when the Strikers had such stars as Nene Cubillas, Gordon Banks, Gerd Muller, Elias Figueroa, George Best and the list goes on.

Some of the old timers have not embraced the idea of Miami FC becoming the Strikers. Evidence of this is a piece written by Jeff Rusnack of the Sun Sentinel titled Transformation of Miami FC to Strikers has begun
I think it's unfortunate some of the people like (Tim) Robbie and (Ray) Hudson are wary of Traffic and MFC using the Fort Lauderdale Strikers name, but it's the fans that really matter. It makes no difference that this team will have no real connection, organization wise, to the old Strikers team(s). The Pacific Northwest clubs and the SJ Earthquakes have little or no connection to the old NASL teams in their cities. And in the end the old timers will come around and support the new team because they are the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
I think we all could live with a name like Strikers FC or South Florida Strikers, but it just wouldn't be the same as going all out with the Fort Lauderdale name.
Now Traffic has the opportunity to start fresh and erase all the bad decisions made with Miami FC. But I guess the question will be: Can Traffic promote the league and not neglect the Strikers?
The Strikers need to be the Flagship of the league. The example to be followed and of which the rest of the league strives to emulate. I realize Division 2 is a difficult sell but Traffic needs to start to put the team together NOW! Put together a winning team and use the Strikers name as they should and no one will ever blame them for not trying. If we have learned anything from our experience so far with Miami FC is that even a soccer company can fail to run a soccer team if they don't embrace the community.
Now is the time for them to prove all the haters wrong! The ball is in Traffic's side of the field, lets hope they intend to attack.
Are you a Striker liker?

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Completely ridiculous to not have Miami in the name..
I don't mind the Strikers the colors etc. But to take out Miami, would be a mistake.

See the soon to be known as Miami Marlins.

Anonymous said...

I will not support it.

Anonymous said...

Bring MLS to Miami but not by Traffic Sports.

Anonymous said...

Their are far more fans of American Soccer in Palm Beach County and Broward than in Miami-Dade. That's why Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Fort Lauderdale Sun worked and Miami FC, Miami Gators, Miami Sharks, Miami Freedom, Miami Fusion, etc didn't. The FTL Strikers were always in the top half in NASL attendance. The FTL Sun led the old USL in attendance and the FTL Strikers II were second in the APSL in attendance.

As for Miami Marlins, the jury certainly out on whether that will help or hurt the team. It did help them raid the taxpayers though.

Anonymous said...

Cant wint to see MLS come to south Florida and get Traffic sports out of here.

FT Lauderdale don't support soccer.

Anonymous said...

Traffic Sports are a joke. The worse. They will kill soccer.

Anonymous said...

Miami will get MLS you can keep Traffic Sports/Strikers.They have done a back job and now they run to Ft Lauderdale to do the same. Shame!

Larry said...

Uncle Ed its a shame you support Traffic Sport. They turn the there back to Miami soccer fans.

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE THAT YOU UNCLE ED SUPPORT WHAT TRAFFIC DID TO MIAMI FANS.

Uncle Ed said...

I support all soccer in South Florida.
I've been very critical of Traffic and the way they have managed Miami FC. But they have the chance to start from scratch with the Strikers (Be it Ft Lauderdale Strikers, Strikers FC, etc. Or whatever they call it).
It's up to them to prove us wrong.

Meanwhile, we continue to push for MLS.

Oscar said...

Give us some MLS Miami news.

Liza said...

Traffic Sports Sucks!!!!!! Uncle Ed be strong don't let them use you.

Anonymous said...

Why are there so many elitists in Miami?
You didn't even show up to MLS games. Support the team you have so that you can be worthy of MLS.

holladown said...

i can guaran-damn-tee you there are more paying soccer fans in palm beach and broward. if this team played in north PBC, there would a grip more folks at the games. but being neither here nor there, this org. has to bust some butt to get the word out on games. its pretty ridic the amount of folks who show up. marketing fail of the first class.

and, i could give a rat's ass about the city name. seriously, let's just call 'em "the strikers".

get out and play ball.

Kyle (lil' trainwreck) Kaly said...

all of you miami humpers can eat a dick. FT LAUDERDALE IS MUCH BETTER FOR THE TEAM! A useful tidbit that was forgotten, Lockhart stadium drew in more fans than tropical park and fiu for miami fc. I wear my strikers jersey 2-3 times a week and i swear to you that AT LEAST 5x a day people ask about it. theyre always excited when i tell them that the team is coming back. FT LAUDERDALE FILLS THE STADIUM! Miami gets us shot like colin fowles...

Dave/Palm Beach said...

FT Lauderdale fans did not support Miami FC in Miami. D2 team will not bring fans to the stadium. MLS will bring fans. Kyle you are a jerk...

Jeff said...

Uncle Ed you are a traitor.

Anonymous said...

When MLS come to Miami will see how many FT Lauderdale fans will come to see it.

Uncle Ed said...

@ Jeff
A traitor?
The truth is The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were the only successful team South Florida ever had. I'm fearful of the legacy being destroyed. Aside from that I support ALL soccer in our area.

I'm one of the main guys trying to bring MLS back to South Florida. So while you sit back and relax watching soccer on TV I'm actually doing something to bring MLS back.
I'm tired of all the local haters who do nothing but complain.

If you will not support Miami FC / Strikers then join http://www.mlsmiamibid.com/

Jeff said...

Uncle Ed I dont live in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Traffic Sports will kill the FT Lauderdale Strikers..

Derek said...

First, in response to the first comment, it makes ZERO sense for the team to call themselves "Miami" since they are playing in Fort Lauderdale full time. It also made no sense for the Fusion to do that. The Marlins are changing their name only because they are moving to the city of Miami, and only because the city basically forced the change in the ballpark deal. And for the record, the Marlins are going to make themselves, and the city look like a joke, as the Miami Marlins when they change their colors, bet on it. You can thank captain tacky Jeffery Loria for that.

As for everyone else, it's VERY disheartening to see some of my fellow South Floridians refusing to support local professional soccer, and badmouthing someone(Uncle Ed) who has supported all levels of the game in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and everywhere in between. That attitude will only make our area look bad to MLS investors. Yes Traffic has made mistakes but this is a new beginning for the club and a chance to show we really do support pro soccer here. The first two Fort Lauderdale Strikers teams proved just that. Anything with "Miami" attached to it has been a failure unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

D2 SOCCER SUCKS!! TRAFFIC SPORTS SUCKS!! THEY WILL KILL THE STRIKERS NAME.

Linda said...

Strikers FC or South Florida Strikers should be the name.

Anonymous said...

What we is MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS MLS............. get it. Give us some news.

Uncle Ed said...

MLS information will be coming soon.

Here is the latest on that:
http://football-miami-n-beyond.blogspot.com/2010/10/mls-miami-bid-we-have-dream-major.html

Anonymous said...

Traffic Sucks!!!!!!!!! They will kill the Strikers.

Pedro said...

Striker will be dead. Thanks Traffic.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if the team is in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Both are local, both our areas. What I do care about is Traffic DESTROYING the legacy of the Ft Lauderdale Stikers one of the biggest names in American Soccer. Say no to Traffic and this new phony NASL!

BRING MLS HERE AND WE WILL SUPPORT IT!

The old NASL said...

I AGREE THAT TRAFFIC SPORTS WILL DESTROY the legacy of the Strikers. IAM MAD FOR THEM USING THE NAME.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Ed what MLS Miami new?

Mad Fan said...

No to Traffic Sports/Strikers.

Anonymous said...

Traffic are Strikers killers.

Anonymous said...

You do know that Davidson couldn't market Miami FC because USL owned the franchise.

Anonymous said...

interview with Davidson:

http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/content.php?630-ICF-Interview-Only-with-NASL-CEO-Aaron-Davidson

Anonymous said...

Aaron Davidon/Traffic sports will kill soccer in south Florida.

Edward/Weston said...

MLS will bring the fans to the tadium not USL/NASL. I will wait for MLS.

Anonymous said...

Traffic Sports/Miami FC/Strikers are a joke.

Kyle (Lil' Train wreck) Kaly said...

DAMN STRAIGHT IM A JERK! Im one of the few people who thinks Traffic is actually gonna pull this off no matter what any of you say. THE FUSION WERE SCREWED BY MLS and NO ONE remembers that, while the NASL HASNT EVEN HAD A TEAM POST A FULL ROSTER YET and people arent even giving them a chance to blow it. GIVE IT A YEAR. Coming from the man who started chants HARASSING one of his own players, im the FIRST TO SAY WHEN STUFF ISNT RIGHT. Just give them the benefit of the doubt of one season before you write this name change as a travesty. Hell, if they do blow it, ill be trashing traffic right along with you. If nothing else, at least traffic signed a player before january... Thats a welcome change

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Traffic sucks and that they will never jump to the MLS.

Anonymous said...

DAMN STRAIGHT TRAFFIC SPORTS ARE BAD FOR SOUTH FLORIDA PRO SOCCER.

Anonymous said...

we hate Traffic Sports........

Uncle Ed said...

In case anyone cares the complaint comments about Traffic are only coming from 2 separate IP addresses. Those 2 people just like to leave a lot of comments.
I don't delete comments unless there is profanity so they can hate all they want.
I support all soccer and I'm grateful we have a team. People need to give Traffic a chance. Now they run their own destiny. If they don't capture the hearts of the fans now that they run the show then they can only blame themselves.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't even fathom some of the stupidity I am seeing here. We have a lot of empty, doltish posts just flaming Traffic, Ft. Lauderdale, and ultimately, pro soccer in South Florida. Let's see if I can bring things back to reality here for a moment.

Here are some facts. Ft. Lauderdale pro soccer teams have routinely done well in attendance figures for their leagues. Miami teams.....not so much to put it nicely. If you look at a map of this country with MLS home teams marked, there is one area that jumps out at you as particularly blank - the southeast. Once Garber is done with his Cosmos craving, he's going to be looking in this direction.

Now let's look at Traffic. They are the main resource backing NASL. Their business model is to not only recoup operating losses, but also make a profit by selling players they develop. Now, you nay-sayers tell me, do you think they'll make more money developing players in D2, or in MLS? All Traffic needs is to see us the fans come out and support the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, and they'll put themselves squarely in Garber's radar to be team 21. Miami FC did not work. The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers will - IF - Traffic markets the team properly to the tri-county area (mainly Broward and Palm Beach).

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Uncle Ed. It's just Holt and Papadakis killing time on your blog here before announcing their latest intake of franchise fees, err, I mean Caribbean USL Pro team. LOL

Andy said...

Traffic sucks!!! all the way.