Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother Nature stifles the Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs FC Tampa Bay debut

Mother Nature can't hold back a true Striker Liker!
© Jon van Woerden .com

Well, the big Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs FC Tampa Bay, NASL Soccer rivalry, debut will have to wait as mother nature dominated the night. Rain would have been okay but it was the frequent lightning that forced the postponement of the much anticipated matchup. The large crowd of Striker Likers, visiting Rowdies fans and local youth clubs sought cover from the weather but in the end it was mother nature posting the only victory.

Youth club members of The Soccer Academy & Training organization
pose with the Strikers' mascot Hot Shot minutes before the deluge.

The torrential downpour was reminiscent of the early 1980's game in Tampa Stadium. The Strikers have seen their share of tropical precipitation at home as well, as you can see in the shot below of the 1988 Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

1988 Strikers' Ray Hudson & Marcelo Carrera
ponder a free kick in the pouring rain. © Jon van Woerden

Although the start of the match was delayed numerous times due to lightning strikes, many of the fans braved the elements hoping the game would be played. In the end the weather would not break and at 10:20 PM the postponement was announced. The Strikers organization is blessed with the greatest fans and is rewarding them, not just honoring every fan's ticket for the make up game, but offering them an extra ticket to Florida’s most important soccer rivalry.

Fans that arrived early did get a chance to enjoy the pre-game friendly scrimmage of the Lauderhill Limers with the 4-1 win going to their green clad squad.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pro Soccer returns to Fort Lauderdale

The New Fort Lauderdale Strikers & team mascot Hot Shot,
during the inaugural pregame cememonies.
Photo by Jon van Woerden

A picture perfect sunset ushered in the the inaugural game of the new Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium, home to prior generations of this fabled team. The players, donning a very attractive asymmetrical version of the traditional "Bumble Bee" jersey (sporting additional horizontal stripes and a new logo), played with passion against an equally inspired opponent from the New NASL's Canadian component. After a hard fought first half, the Strikers rewarded the enthusiastic crowd of 6400 with their first goal in the 48th minute, a Martyn Lancaster header off a cross from Eduardo Coudet. It was actually quit fitting that the first goal was scored by a Brit, paying homage to the heavy British makeup of the original NASL Strikers of 1978.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers' captain, Aaron Hohlbein (22)
& Paulo LePetit (7) rejoice with goalscorer Martyn Lancaster.
Photo by Jon van Woerden

FC Edmonton replied with a goal 6 minutes later and then again in the 67th minute, with both teams pushing hard towards the final whistle, with the Strikers' efforts being denied by Rein Baart's goalkeeping. The Strikers take on the Minnesota Stars at Lockhart at 8:30 on Friday, April 15th and then on May 14th host cross state rivals, FC Tampa Bay. This match vs the Rowdies should bring back great memories of the classic derbies between the previous incarnations of both teams.

Strikers' Mike Palacio vs FC Edmonton's Eddy Sidra.
Photo by Jon van Woerden

To view a complete gallery of this match, visit

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Palm Beach Driving Club "Experience"

The Entrance to PBIR of the Beeline Hwy.
photo: © Jon van Woerden

After a stressful day at the office, there’s nothing like a rush-hour drive down one of Florida’s less congested highways. I’m westbound on the Beeline Hwy in Palm Beach, and to make it even nicer there’s an awesome sunset at drivers left. My destination this evening is Palm Beach International Raceway, joining a few fellow BMW Car Club of America, Everglades Chapter board members as guests of the Palm Beach Driving Club. PBDC is a private member club offering performance driving enthusiasts open track time on PBIR’s newly configured, fully flood-lit, 2 mile, 11 turn road course.

Palm Beach Drivers Club Radical SR-3.
photo: © Jon van Woerden

After a delicious catered dinner, which is provided to club members at each evening track event, the club’s VP Ken Fengler joined us trackside as the Club’s Race Pro Shane Lewis gave exhilarating track rides to prospective members and guests in the Radical SR-3 race car. Joining Ken, was Joe Lubeck who graciously offered his Ferrari and classic BMW 2002 Turbo for us to take for a spin, well maybe spin isn’t the best choice of words, around the track.

Joe Lubeck's BMW 2002 Turbo poised for track time.
photo: © Jon van Woerden

Club members not only have the benefit of four hours of open track time per session along with catered dinner or lunch, but receive from one to four hours of private instruction with the club pro, 50% discounts on private track rentals, discounted trackside services, VIP access and parking for PBIR events, and reciprocal driving privileges at 6 other road courses in the US and Canada.

The BMW's of Jim Storch, Mike Willette and Joe Lubeck.
photo: © Jon van Woerden

For those who’d like to see if the Palm Beach Driving Club is right for them, there is a guest program, which includes driver orientation with the club pro, four hours of open track time and a catered dinner for $ 500.00. How about the opportunity to be a passenger with Shane in the Radical SR-3 for four hot laps of PBIR’s exciting road course along with the catered dinner for $ 250.00. What a great Christmas gift.

For more information on any of the club’s four membership levels, and their features and benefits visit or contact Ken Fengler at 561.578.5628

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Every Picture Tells A Story

Rod Stewart performing in 1971.
© Jon van Woerden

Every Picture Tells A Story, or so goes the title song of Rod Stewart's Third album, released way back in 1971. It was on the tour supporting this album that I shot the above photo, one of the first of many concert images I shot during the 70's. Short of a few weddings and assorted other gigs during these early years of my photo career, shooting rock concerts was my passion. It was two years earlier while working as a sound and lighting tech with one of South Florida's premier hard rock groups, Coventry, that it was suggested by fellow band mates that I should utilize the Minolta SRT 101 camera that I had just purchased to snap a few shots at our gigs, after all how busy was I during those shows. Well this lead to that and before I knew it I was shooting some of the really big shows, from prime vantage points, thanks to my long time friend Frankie Banali and his acquaintance with a local concert promotor. I never actively pursued marketing any of these images, and I'm just now sorting through hundreds of these 30+ year old slides, selecting my favorites and posting them to my website gallery "70Rock". As I scanned these celluloid memories, I came to realize that yes indeed, Every Picture Tells a Story.

Click on this link to view the gallery and check back often as it is still a work in progress.

David Bowie performs Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars.
© Jon van Woerden

Freddie Mercury of Queen performs Bohemian Rhapsody,
© Jon van Woerden

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three's A Charm

Dutch fans have reason to rejoice! © Jon van Woerden

As you noticed by now, many of my blogs on current events are twisted into opportunities for me to share some of my favorite photographs, past, present and future. Thus, it was with this in mind that I was rooting for Germany to defeat Spain, advancing to the final and meeting the Netherlands in a rematch of the 1974 World Cup final in Munich. I've had the pleasure of being an acquaintance of two of the hero's of that match, being team photographer for both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, when Gerd Mueller began his NASL years and later when Johan Neeskens starred for the Fort Lauderdale Sun in the short lived USL. Well as you know by now it won't be Germany in a rematch of that infamous '74 match, but a contest that will, one way or the other, add the name of only the 8th country to ever win it, to the bottom of the FIFA World Cup. Spain may be a formidable opponent, but for the Netherlands its.... well, shall we say.... "Third Time's A Charm" '74, '78, 2010 . As for Neeskens and Mueller below are the pics and if you missed ESPN's broadcast of "I Scored a Goal in a World Cup Final" check out this web site presenting awesome vignettes of both of these player's glorious moments along with goals of the other 32 living players who can make that claim. Hup Holland! After the final whistle blows and Holland brings home the Gold one might well retreat into Soccer withdrawl, do yourself a favor and after you've viewed as much Tivo as one can handle tune in to ESPN's repeat airing of "The Two Escobars" on Sept 18th.

Johan Neeskens with the USL's Fort Lauderdale Sun in 1985
© Jon van Woerden
Gerd Mueller in 1979 with the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers
© Jon van Woerden

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Onward to the Semi-finals

Nestor Lorenzo battles Jurgen Klinsman in the

Italia 90 World Cup final ©Jon van Woerden

My good friend Mick Finn and I enjoyed watching the Netherlands advance to the semi-finals in a historic win over Brazil. Mick who had just recently returned to Atlanta with his wife Cindy after living in Den Hague is a devout fan of Oranje. Now comes tomorrows Argentina vs Germany match, which could become one of the classic meetings of this tournament, unlike their dreadful meeting in the Italia 90 final, that Germany won on a penalty kick in a game marred by two Argentine red card expulsions. The winner of this quarter final match-up may well be the Netherlands opponent in the final of South Africa 2010, provided both prevail in there semi final match-ups.

Today we are also reminded of one of soccer's tragic moments, as it is 16 years since Andrés Escobar was murdered in Columbia in retaliation for his inadvertent own goal in the 1994 World Cup game against the US which Columbia lost, contributing to their elimination from the tournament. It was in the quarter finals of these games that Brazil defeated the Netherlands 3:2 in Dallas on July 9th. and continued on to win in the final against Italy.

R.I.P Andrés Escobar

Photo ©Jon van Woerden

Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup at Duffy's Sports Grill

Photo © Jon van Woerden Woodbury & Associates Photography

It certainly wasn't the result hundreds of US supporters at Duffy's Sports Grill in Fort Lauderdale had hoped for, although there was enthusiastic celebration as Landon Donovan put away the penalty kick, as captured here in this panorama stitched from three 14mm wide angle images. Duffy's locations are open at 10:00 AM for fans to cheer on there team, as the games unfold on the multitude of large screen TVs.