The Fort Lauderdale Strikers traveled to Florida’s West coast for the second straight preseason and defeated the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University by a final score of 1-0 with trialist Jemal Johnson scoring the game’s lone goal. The game was the first of the preseason for Strikers new addition Shavar Thomas and last season’s leading goal-scorer Mark Anderson.
“Our organization was good and I thought Shavar and Toni were really good for their first game together,” said head coach Daryl Shore.
Thomas, the former captain of the Jamaican national team, played 65 minutes before leaving the match in favor of Stefan Antonijevic.
“The deal came together really quick and we are pleased he wanted to join our group,” said Shore. “He’s been a great addition and obviously is only going to make our team better.”
The Strikers controlled possession early culminating in a chance for Jemal Johnson in the 20th minute which was saved by FGCU. Following the early play, the Eagles of FGCU were able to earn some opportunities including two corner kicks. Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser was never really tested though, as he only had to make two saves despite the pressure from FGCU.
Coming out of halftime, the Strikers were the first to earn a scoring chance when, in the 56th minute, Shavar Thomas’ shot was put on frame, but pushed wide by the keeper for a corner kick. Minutes later Stefan Dimitrov was played into space alone in front of the Eagles’ keeper, but his shot was spectacularly saved.
The Strikers went up 1-0 in the 63rd minute when Jemal Johnson fired home a pass from Mark Anderson. The play began with a throw in on the left side to Stefan Dimitrov who passed forward to Gonzalo De Mujica who crossed to Anderson near the edge of the area. Following the goal, FGCU sustained pressure and managed two opportunities including a goal which was negated for being offside.
Next up for the Strikers in the preseason are the Barry University Buccaneers on Saturday, March 16, at 6:00pm. Fort Lauderdale opens the 2013 NASL Spring season at historic Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, April 6, against FC Edmonton. Season tickets for 2013 are on sale now by calling (954)606-0400. Follow the Strikers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
FTL- Jemal Johnson 1 (Mark Anderson)- 63' - 1-0
Fort Lauderdale (4-2-3-1)- Matt Glaeser; Darnell King, Shavar Thomas, Toni Ståhl (c), Ivan Guerrero; Manny Gonzalez, Pecka; Jemal Johnson*, Mark Anderson, Eduardo Jiminez*; Stefan Dimitrov