Our rivals in Tampa have already announced a list of players returning for the 2011 season. Miami FC has still not transformed into the Strikers, nor are there any signs that this has started. Leading only to speculation and concern by those of us that follow the team. Perhaps they are waiting for NASL to be sanctioned as a Division 2 league by the USSF.
Fortunately, player movements have already begun. Word out of Lockhart Stadium (via sources) is that a number of players have been asked to return and a few others have not.
Christian Gomez was seen in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, generating buzz that the former DC United star is on his way to the Union. His play at Miami FC this season was solid, enough so that he received the Fans Player of the year award. Still, no official word out on his possible move but we have learned that Gomez has not closed the door at a possible return to South Florida.
As we all know, Paulo Araujo Jr. was with Real Salt Lake on Loan and had an impressive run scoring 2 goals in their last match versus Mexican side Cruz Azul. Looks like Paulo is destined for bigger things. JP Rodrigues was also on loan with DC United and also played coming on as a substitute. JP is now taking part in the Gold Cup elimination phase where he represents Guyana. He is also set to play Indoor soccer with MISL side Milwaukee Wave. There is no word yet on if any of these players will make the jump to MLS. Stay tuned.
Aaron Hohlbein has returned to the Kansas City Wizards. Chukwudi "Chucky" Chijindu and Gerson Mayen have returned to Chivas USA. No word yet on whether they will stay with their teams or will return to Miami FC/Strikers next season.
Our sources have indicated the following players will not be returning to the team:
2 Euzébio Andrade Silva Neto D
19 Jair Cabas M/F
17 Sean Cameron M Playing Gold Cup elimination phase with Guyana.
4 Cristiano Dias D
23 Bryan Dominguez M
3 Zach Kirby D Recovering from season ending injury. Weighing options, has multiple offers.
15 Paulo Henrique Le Petit M Will play with the Omaha Vipers (MISL Indoor Soccer)
40 Caleb Patterson-Sewell GK
20 Bryan Perez M - Will play with The Missouri Comets (MISL Indoor Soccer)
11 Edward Santeliz F - Will play with the Chicago Riot (MISL Indoor Soccer)
16 Kyle Veris D
Players on the list to return:
8 Lennon Eduardo Carvalho Celestino M
Out of all the Brazilians on the team, next to Paulo Jr, Lennon seemed to be the only one that consistently performed.
6 Chris Gbandi D
Chris brought experience and leadership to the team.
24 Matt Glaeser GK
Matt was an important part of the unbeaten streak at the end of the season.
14 Jarryd Goldberg M
The "Hammer", a fan favorite, did not play as much as fans would have liked this season but he always played with heart.
7 Stefan Jerome F
This young forward is the future of the team and American soccer. Look for him to get more playing time.
27 Martyn Lancaster D
Another fan favorite, Martyn can show the youngsters a thing or two about work ethic. A solid player all around.
12 Mike Randolph D
Great at the flanks, Mike used his speed to cut through the opposing sides.
21 Brian Shriver M/F
Brian started to find his playing form at the end of the season. Looking forward to seeing him with the Strikers.
? 13 Danilio Martins F
A great addition at the end of the season, contributed to the final winning run.
?1 Lance Parker GK
Didn't get the chance to prove himself on the field as much as fans would have wanted.
? 9 Abe Thompson F
Abe started off slow but at the end of the season was on fire! Fans would love to see him back, but we want the Abe that we saw in the end.
***NASL Annual General Meeting in Miami
No real information on the AGM that took place this weekend. We hope to have some information soon. We can confirm the following teams attended Puerto Rico Islanders, Carolina RailHawks, Montreal Impact, Miami FC Blues, FC Tampa Bay, Crystal Palace Baltimore, FC Edmonton, AC St. Louis, Atlanta, NSC Minnesota Stars and San Antonio. The amount of teams or groups attending is a positive sign of things to come.
Our sources out of Austin tells us a minority owner of the now defunct Aztex was at the meeting and is looking at bringing a new team back to Austin by 2012.
Pictures by Robert Scorca