The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have acquired former Florida International University forward Jahbari Willis from the Atlanta Silverbacks. In exchange, the Strikers send forward Andy Herron to Atlanta. Per team policy, no additional details have been released.
“Jahbari is a big forward who will help us score goals,” said Strikers’ head coach Daryl Shore. “When he came into the game against us in Atlanta, he was a handful. Our assistant coach Raoul Voss was a graduate assistant at FIU while Jahbari played there, so he’s very familiar with his abilities.”
Willis, 22, joined his hometown NASL club, the Atlanta Silverbacks on June 12, 2012, midway through the NASL season. He made his professional debut on July 7, 2012, starting and playing the entire match against Minnesota United FC and assisted on both goals in the Silverbacks’ 2-1 win. After a solid rookie season, Atlanta re-signed Willis for 2013 on February 6, 2013.
In the 2013 season, the 6-foot-3 forward has 11 appearances and two assists. Prior to signing for the NASL club, Willis played for the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves in the National Premier Soccer League. While at FIU, Willis played four seasons of college soccer for the Golden Panthers between 2008 and 2011.
Andy Herron, 35, had a productive 2012 season for the Strikers in which the Costa Rican forward made 17 starts in 20 appearances in all competitions. He finished the season with eight league goals, two assists and three NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The veteran Herron has more than 15 years of experience, having played with professional clubs here in the US, Costa Rica and Guatemala during his career. Herron has also played in major tournaments for the Costa Rican national team, representing La Sele at the 2004 Copa América, as well as the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Strikers take on the Atlanta Silverbacks this Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at historic Lockhart Stadium. Tickets for all Strikers home games may be purchased online at Strikers.com or by calling the Strikers’ ticket office at 954-606-0400.