Strikers Team Up with Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital's [U-18] Sports Medicine to Grant Three Patients a Wish of a Lifetime
(Hollywood, Fla.) Two [U18] Sports Medicine patients and one Memorial Hospital West patient – all of whom are avid soccer fans and players – will have a chance of a lifetime to experience what is like to walk in the cleats of a professional soccer player. For one memorable day, they will join the Fort Lauderdale Strikers as an honorary team member, styling the team’s official jerseys.
Cassie DesVergers, 11, Ana Gabriela Hess, 16 and Ricardo Howard, 7, will take the field with the Strikers on September 19 at 10 am at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
“We are grateful to the Strikers for providing this incredible opportunity to our patients,” said Antonio Milian, director, [U18] Sports Medicine, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. “We value the relationships we have established with teams in our area, which helps us to create opportunities like this for our patients and our community.”
All three kids are dedicated soccer fans. Both Ana Gabriela and Cassie also play for their school and community soccer teams, but have been sidelined for months due to a left ACL injury and fractured and dislocated right tibia, respectively. Ricardo, known as RJ, is an active boy who loves playing and watching soccer. He has made incredible gains during his physical therapy to help his restricted movements caused by brain atrophy.
“These kids are an incredible inspiration to us all and an example of the great achievements that can happen when one remains focused and dedicated to their therapy,” Milian said. “We know this will be an amazing experience for them.”
ABOUT THE KIDS:
· Cassie DesVergers, 11, has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old. In September 2012, she fell from the monkey bars and fractured and dislocated her right tibia and fibula. Three days later, she had surgery and was in a cast and crutches for three months before starting physical therapy at [U18] Sports Medicine in Coral Springs. She stayed focused on her goal and was rewarded with being able to play in the last few games of her soccer season. With the exception of a small scar, she is now fully recovered and looking forward to the upcoming season with her team – “Team Boca.”
· Ana Gabriela Hess, 16, plays center mid fielder for Somerset High School and the West Pines Strikers. She suffered a left ACL injury while playing soccer at a West Pines game in February, 2013. About two weeks later, she had surgery to reconstruct her ACL and has been one of the most motivated patients, according to her therapist, Alex Avila from [U18] Sports Medicine at Memorial Hospital Miramar. She can’t wait to get back in the game and continue chasing her dream of playing soccer in college and later as a professional athlete, like her favorite player, Alex Morgan from USA National Women’s Team.
· Ricardo Howard, 7, loves soccer and basketball. He was referred to Memorial Hospital West’s Rehab Center because he was having trouble using his left-side, a condition caused by hydrocephalus. Throughout his childhood, RJ has suffered seizures, but his physical limitations have not deterred him from being active and playing his two favorite sports. He has advanced tremendously in his therapy and can now use his left side more, even though he still has a preference for his right side.
ABOUT [U18] SPORTS MEDICINE
[U18] Sports Medicine, a service of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, was developed to meet the needs of the pediatric and adolescent population for sports injuries and prevention. The team specializes in treating young athletes, starting with our fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital: Michael Jofe, MD; Randolph Cohen, MD; Neal McNerney, MD; Stephen Storer, MD; Jeremy Frank, MD and Eric Eisner, MD. From diagnostic imaging by our pediatric radiologists and technologists to anesthesia care by our board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists and rehabilitation by our orthopaedic-certified physical therapists, the young athlete will be cared for by professionals who specialize in treating children and adolescents. [U18] Sports Medicine has two locations – Memorial Hospital Miramar, 1951 SW 172Avenue, Suite, 207, Miramar, and Coral Springs, 5830 Coral Ridge Drive, Suite 207, Coral Springs. The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has two locations: Hollywood and Boca Raton. For more information, visit U18sportsmedicine.com
ABOUT THE FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, South Florida's only professional men’s soccer team, are in their eighth season in 2013. The Strikers have been a part of the North American Soccer League [NASL] since the 2011 season. The team is owned by Traffic Sports USA, the North American subsidiary of The Traffic Group, the leading soccer event management company in the Americas, with headquarters in Brazil, and offices in the U.S. and Europe. The organization is committed to the advancement of soccer in South Florida at the youth, amateur and professional levels. The Strikers are pursuing a permanent home at a significantly renovated Lockhart Stadium, their current home, or at a new soccer-specific stadium in South Florida. More information on the team can be found at http://www.strikers.com
Perez finds his first goal with the Strikers to tie the game; Sanchez shutout streak comes to an end at 353 minutes. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS, FC EDMONTON
Fort Lauderdale, FL (September 15, 2013) – The Strikers come home from Edmonton with a 1-1 tie against the Eddies at Clarke Stadium, giving them a five-game undefeated streak and is currently tied for second place in the league. The weather in Edmonton was a big factor as the teams had to play with winds of between 20-30 miles per hour. The next game for the Strikers will be against the New York Cosmos as the two teams battle for first place in the league.
The Strikers found themselves down one goal and two coaches at the half. FC Edmonton’s Lance Laing scored off a free kick in the 37th minute on a sequence of events that caused both Strikers coaches, Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner and assistant coach Ricardo Lopes, as well as forward Walter Restrepo to get ejected from the game. The controversy started after Edmonton took a free kick, but the ball started rolling before Laing kicked it. The referees gave the Eddies a second chance at the free kick and second attempt was good to give Edmonton the 1-0 lead.
The Strikers players and bench were up in arms as they felt Edmonton should not have gotten the chance to re-take the kick and that’s when the referees ejected Kronsteiner, Lopes and Restrepo from the bench.
The goal by Edmonton also ended goalkeeper Richard Sanchez's consecutive shutout minutes at 353, just six minutes short of the league record.
Despite not having any coaches on the bench, the Strikers came out strong in the second half, using the wind to their advantage, and forcing Lance Parker to make several saves. Yaikel Pérez scored his first goal in a Strikers uniform in the 58th minute to tie the game at 1-1. Martin Nuñez received a cross and aimed the shot at the net, but Edmonton keeper Parker kicked it away. Perez found the rebound and was able to put it into the net despite a deflection by Parker.
After the Strikers’ goal Edmonton went into the offensive and seemed to control the ball most of the half. Edmonton had several chances in the second half including an on-goal scissor kick by Michael Cox, but Sanchez was solid, stopping all the shots that came his way in the second half.
The Strikers will battle for the top place in the league as they take on the New York Cosmos this Saturday, September 21st at Lockhart Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. This match will mark the first time in over 30 years that the Strikers and Cosmos have faced off at Lockhart Stadium. The Cosmos currently stand in first place, while the Strikers are just one point behind. 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 onFacebook,Twitterand Instagram.
FCE – Laing 37’
FTL – Perez 58’
FC EDMONTON (4-3-3) – Lance Parker; Antonio Rago; David Proctor; Albert Watson; Lance Laing; Gagan Dosanjh (Massimo Mirabelli, 76); Robert Garrett (Michael Cox, 64); Neil Hlavaty; Chris Nurse;Daryl Fordyce; Corey Hertzog (Sadi Jalali, 82)
Unused Substitutes: John Smits;; Wes Knight; Shaun Saiko;; Chris de Guise
FORT LAUDERDALE (4-4-1-1) – Richard Sánchez; Stéphane Guillaume; Rafael Alves; Stefan Antonijevic; Iván Guerrero (C); Darnell King; Manny Gonzalez (Carlos Salazar, 63); Toni Ståhl; Martin Nuñez (Bradlee Baladez, 76) ; Paulo Jr. (Justin Chavez, 85); Yaikel Pérez
Unused substitutes: Lionel Brown, Walter Restrepo,
BOOKING SUMMARY –
FCE – Herzog (caution) 45’; Nurse (caution) 45’
FTL – Restrepo (ejection) 40’