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