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Fort Lauderdale Strikers Return to South Florida

fort lauderdale strikers Fort Lauderdale Strikers Return to South Florida

One of the most recognizable U.S. soccer institution names worldwide returned from extinction Thursday when Traffic Sports announced that the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are back. The Strikers will kick off their first game April 9th against Edmonton in their NASL home opener at Lockhart Stadium.

The Strikers name was unveiled in front of a few hundred fans and dignitaries along the Fort Lauderdale beachfront. The team, owned by Traffic Sports, changed its name from Miami FC to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a name that is an institution in the history of soccer in the United States. The name is synonymous with former international legends such as George Best, Gerd Muller, Nene Cubillas, Gordon Banks, Ian Callaghan, Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles, as well as U.S. internationals Tony Meola, Thomas Rongen, Arnie Mausser, Dominic Kinnear, Steve Trittschuh and Eric Eichmann.

“I am the first to acknowledge that a name in and of itself is simply that,” said Strikers CEO Aaron Davidson. “But the Strikers were and continue to be an institution. And we are committed to extending and building on that institution.”

The return of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers as a professional club represents another modern soccer team tapping into the retro appeal of adopting a historic U.S. club name. The success of the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer coupled with the forthcoming return of the New York Cosmos are just two examples. Three more are the return of Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps to top flight soccer in North America, as well as the Tampa Bay Rowdies who play in the same NASL as the Strikers.

Season tickets to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are now available. Call 954.606.0400 or e-mail

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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25 Responses to Fort Lauderdale Strikers Return to South Florida

  1. F19 says:

    What a great event on Thursday! Great to see the Fort Lauderdale Strikers back! They’ve already sold 5 times more season tickets than they ever have as Miami FC. Let’s hope that in a few years they follow the paths set by the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps with great D2 support leading to MLS. And as much as I hate them, I hope the FCTB Rowdies come with us. They got jerked around by MLS just as bad the first time too.


  2. Alistair says:

    This is great news for soccer fans like myself. I remember how good that team was back in the early 80′s

  3. Dan says:

    they changed their name purely to push to get into MLS. Really really hard sell with only 1 spot and I don’t see how the Cosmos won’t get it

  4. Martha Focker says:

    Who said there’s only one spot? There’s probably as many as 13 spots left before it’s all said and done. Obviously the United States is a big country folks, more cities and public demand will take MLS into the mainstream and thus more teams will follow.

    • meh says:

      Exactly. Garber won’t stop epanding MLS as long as 1) there are still billionaires out there willing to invest money in SSS and MLS expansion fees, 2) and/or there are still large regions of the USA that don’t have an MLS team, 3) and/or it becomes more profitable to stop expanding in order to bid up the value of the existing MLS clubs. We’re nowhere close to this happening yet.

  5. Martha Focker says:

    Congratulations Fort Lauderdale on the return of the Ft. Lauderdale STRIKERS

  6. alex says:

    Congrats on recognizing the past. At least they are honest about their name in the fact that the club is based in ft Lauderdale instead of Miami. I would hate to see Miami strikers and the club be in ft Lauderdale

  7. eplnfl says:

    Good luck to all the great fans in South Florida. Hopefully what Seattle has done for all of the MLS can be repeated in FLA. While the 2nd team for NY seems certain it would appear that MLS will not stop with a 20 team team league. at that point Florida has to be in the picture.

  8. Charles says:

    Congrats Ft Laud,

    I am going have to crack open my Ft Laud, Subuteo team. ;-)

    It is amazing what a name can do. Metro-stars very little interest. Cosmos, they don’t even had a team and there is already HUGE interest.
    I am 100% certain if they name the Seattle team the Alliance or one of the two other names they had on the ballot, they don’t have 1/2 the success they have.

    I have never gotten the appeal of going away from the NASL nickname. They might have been the best part of the league of a league I loved. The Strikers name was right there with the best names.

    Now they just need to bring the Manic name back !

    My favorite memory of the Sounders was Kenny Hibbitt hitting a play-off goal against the Strikers and all of us in the 300 level of the Kingdome going crazy, only to realize we had a bad angle and it was in the side net.
    He then hit the winner in OT to put us into SoccerBowl ’82….awesome times, great games always.

  9. Flacotex says:

    Glad to see the Ft Lauderdale Strikers back. I have fond memories of attending their games when I was growing up in So Fla. I will be following them from Texas this year. I hope to see them play in San Antonio next year.

  10. George says:

    How are the Cosmos an example of a team using an old name? They don’t actually have a team.

    • The Gaffer says:

      They’re a shoe-in for the 20th spot in MLS. I’d bet all my money on them becoming the 20th team.

      The Gaffer

      • meh says:

        There are no shoe-ins. Even assuming the Cosmos have the financial backing they need to get into MLS, they aren’t getting into MLS without a solid SSS plan. Until we see evidence that such a plan exists, the Cosmos remain a PR campaign and not a potential MLS team. I’d like to see the Cosmos as 20th MLS team, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

        • Alistair says:

          Well at this point you might as well award the 20th team to Ft. Lauderdale since they have SSS plan.

          • F19 says:

            That would be unbelievable but it’s a very long shot. The way the league is drooling over NYC2 and the Cosmos I would not be surprised at all to see them playing at the Meadowlands(like the old Cosmos) or at Red Bull Arena. As absolutely stupid as that would be, I wouldn’t count it out.

            Lockhart Stadium needs a lot of work to be up to snuff for today’s MLS. It’ll take a few years of good crowds before Traffic Sports will be coerced into paying to move the club to MLS. Now if any potential new investors could see past the glitz and flash of Miami, and look to partner with the Strikers, that’s a different story.

            It would be really terrific to see Lockhart revamped once again, and have the Fort Lauderdale Strikers join MLS, in the very same stadium they played in in the 70s, which is what should have happened in 1998. It would add some legit history to the league, complimenting the other NASL-revivals in the PNW and San Jose.

        • The Gaffer says:

          With the amount of money they’ve spent on PR, marketing, executives and advertising, they have shown that they are a well-oiled group who I’m sure have a sound plan for a soccer-specific stadium. Once they’re ready to announce the news, I’m sure everyone will concede that they’ll be team number 20 in MLS.

          The Gaffer

        • Charles says:

          I do think they will get another team, I dont think they are shoe-ins ( where did that expression come from anyway ?).

          But consider this MEH, the Cosmos are rumored to be worth $75 million to the league, other places, I would still say less than $50 million.

          That definitely tips the scales at the very least.

          • Robert says:

            How can Cosmos join MLS when they have a shirt sponsor that is not Adidas? I was actually thinking they might join NASL and force MLS into a promotion relegation. Believe it or not Cosmos are more powerful than MLS considering how much press they are getting of late.

  11. LoganXI says:

    What, no love for Ray Hudson?!

    “The name is synonymous with former international legends such as George Best, Gerd Muller, Nene Cubillas, Gordon Banks, Ian Callaghan, Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles, as well as U.S. internationals Tony Meola, Thomas Rongen, Arnie Mausser, Dominic Kinnear, Steve Trittschuh and Eric Eichmann.”

    No mention of good ol Ray who now makes all the Gol TV matches of La Liga so entertaining with his crazy verbal wandering. He was a Strikers legend, and truly a legend today.

    • JLay says:

      Ray coached one of my club teams in the mid-90′s, the Hollywood PAL Wildcats. The guy was a riot and I remember having to explain to the other kids on the team who he was. I still remember him pulling up in a beat-up Porsche 911 and stepping out like he was still a star.

      He was a very good guy, a great coach, and fun as heck to play for.

      I played for Rongen one year as well, though I don’t remember when or where…

  12. I am delighted that Traffic Sports decided on ‘Ft. Lauderdale Strikers’ and not some other name, such as ‘Florida Strikers’ or some such. The name totally resonates in South Florida soccer history and in the (old) history of the NASL. I fell in love with futbol as a boy watching the old Strikers, and now I plan to write about them on my blogsite, Check in for regular Strikers updates, as well as other news and commentary from the world of soccer!

  13. tlas says:

    I thought you’d enjoy this flash from the past:

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