The Fort Lauderdale Strikers kick off the 2013 preseason with a match against Florida International University (FIU) on Thursday, March 7, at FIU Soccer Stadium in Miami, Fla. Starting with the match at FIU, the Strikers’ preseason schedule will give South Florida soccer fans a chance to see their hometown pro soccer team take on the local college sides.
“We’re less than two weeks into camp and still doing two-a-days so a lot of guys are sore, however our goal is to make sure the focus is on the soccer and to have some good moments making sure the passing and the play is good,” said head coach Daryl Shore.
The Panthers are coached by Kenny Arena, the son of current LA Galaxy boss and former US men’s national team coach Bruce Arena. In his first season in charge of FIU, the team finished with an 8-8-2 overall record—the most victories since the 2005 season—but failed to win a conference game, going 0-7-1 in Conference USA.
Arena’s side are no strangers to facing professional teams during preseason. On Saturday, the Panthers took on Orlando City SC in an exhibition match, falling by three goals to nil to the USL Pro Regular Season Champions in Sanford, Florida.
Fort Lauderdale, who went undefeated against college teams last preseason campaign, will be looking for a similar result to get started on the right foot in 2013.
“You always want to win games, but right now results are not important. It’s just about reaching our goals on the fitness and soccer sides, to make sure we’re prepared for April 6,” said Shore.
The Strikers will field a team composed of returning players and new signings, in addition to several trialists looking to impress the coaching staff and earn spots on the roster. Five players from the Strikers Open Tryout in February are in camp with the team.
Tickets start at just $4 for adults and $2 for children. The match is free for FIU students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.FIUSports.com or on the day of the game. At halftime, there will be a free youth soccer clinic for children 12 and under.
Current Team Roster: Hosman Ramos, David Foley, Pecka, Walter Restrepo, Ivan Guerrero, Scott Gordon, Gonzalo De Mujica, Mark Anderson, Darnell King, Manny Gonzalez, Matt Glaeser, Andy Herron
Strikers season tickets for the 2013 season are on sale now by calling (954) 606-0400.
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