Players bond over the importance of the Strikers in their lives
Fort Lauderdale, FL (September 20, 2013) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosted a successful Town Hall Meeting, Thursday night at Fritz & Franz Bierhaus in Fort Lauderdale. Fans gathered with current and former Strikers players and staff, NASL leadership and two South Florida mayors for a night celebrating the past, present and future of South Florida’s pro soccer team.
Mayors Jim Seiler, Fort Lauderdale, and Mike Ryan, Sunrise, started things off with a discussion about importance of the Strikers in their communities and answered a variety of questions about possible stadium development. Both cities have been rumored as possible locations for the new Strikers-specific stadium. The Mayors are showing their support by promoting the Beach to Glades Challenge to see which city can sell the most tickets to the upcoming Strikers vs Cosmos match, with the winner taking home the Mayors Cup.
North American Soccer League (NASL) Commissioner Bill Peterson and Traffic Sports USA President and Chairman of the NASL Aaron Davidson followed, discussing the early success and growth of the league and the commitment to the Strikers.
“It’s humbling to be here tonight and see this many people come out,” said Davidson. “It’s great to see the faces that have been with us since the early days, and to see the guys from the original Strikers. We are so fortunate to have that legacy with us, and not just the legacy, people who are active in the community in support of what we’re doing.”
The Strikers charismatic President Tom Mulroy shared stores of his playing days and discussed the importance of the club’s community outreach and grassroots approach to promoting the brand.
Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner took the stage to a rapturous applause and chants of his name from the supporters in attendance. The captivating coach further endeared himself to the fans by giving his take on the sending off in Edmonton and the state of his team, which currently sit just one point out of first with a chance to go top of the standings this weekend.
“We are doing very well and I hope we can make you proud this weekend,” said Kronsteiner when asked about the preparation for the Cosmos game. “I’m not preparing the team in a different way; we are as good as the Cosmos, there’s no question from me.”
Current players Stefan Antonijevic, David Foley, Darnell King and Richard Sanchez were also on hand to answer questions from the fans. The four players shared stories about what it means for them to play for the Strikers, their efforts in the community and the importance of being good role models to young players.
Saving the best for last, the Strikers legends took the stage to discuss the great tradition of the Strikers and share their fondest memories of the team. Ron Newman, the original head coach of the Strikers in 1977, led the group of greats that included U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame goalkeeper Arnie Mausser, Branko Segota, Nico Bodonczy and a name endeared to all South Florida soccer fans, Ray Hudson.
Hudson was the man of the hour, stealing the show and captivating the entire audience with his passion and enthusiasm for the Strikers.
“I’d be here all night with you people in the memory of our Strikers and about the advent of the Strikers,” said Hudson. “And Tom [Mulroy], Aaron [Davidson] and Traffic, Tim [Robbie] and the lads here and coach Günter [Kronsteiner], they’re doing a wonderful job.”
If you missed it, click on the video above to watch what Ray Hudson had to say!
Strikers looking to extend five-game unbeaten streak
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (September 19, 2013) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (3-2-2, 11 points) have a chance to jump up to first place this Saturday, September 21st at 7:30 p.m. when they take on the New York Cosmos (3-3-1, 12 poits) for the first time in over 30 years at historic Lockhart Stadium. The Cosmos currently stand in first place in the league, just one point ahead of the Strikers.
The last time the two teams met at Lockhart Stadium was on May 4, 1983. On that date, 13,741 fans watched “Nene” Cubillas, Ray Hudson, Jan van Beveren and the rest of the Strikers defeat the Cosmos, with players such as Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Roberto Cabañas and others, 4-1.
The Strikers currently hold a five game unbeaten streak, and are tied for second place with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Carolina Railhawks, all with 11 points. A win against the Cosmos would mean a jump to first place.
“There’s a lot of excitement about our game against the Cosmos’” said Strikers Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner. “Not only because of the historical significance of the match, but the implications in the table. The Cosmos are a really strong team, the leaders right now. We need to continue to be strong on defense and try to find a way to get some goals and come out with a win.”
Last week the Strikers continued their streak with a 1-1 draw against FC Edmonton. Yakiel Pérez secured the draw for the Strikers in the 57th minute with his first goal of the season. Even though Richard Sanchez’ shutout streak was stopped just six minutes short of the league record, he was instrumental in keeping the unbeaten streak alive for the Strikers with a very strong performance which earned him NASL team of the week honors.
The Cosmos took sole possession of first place after they defeated Minnesota United, 1-0. New York is led by La Liga veteran midfielder Marcos Senna, who is responsible for three of the Cosmos seven goals this season.
FTL lost their first match against NYC 2-1 on August 3rd at Hofstra University
FTL has a five game unbeaten streak – lass loss came on August 10th vs Minnesota United FC
The next match for the Strikers will take place on Saturday, September 28th against the Carolina Railhawks at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 p.m. The Strikers will then return home October 5th to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Tickets for all upcoming home games are available for purchase online at www.strikers.com, or by calling 954-606-0400. Call or visit Strikers.com for more information. Follow the Strikers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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