The Fort Lauderdale Strikers

The last professional soccer game I attended was in Brazil – in Maracanha, easily one of the prolific soccer stadiums in the world. The game was played by rivals Cruzeiro and Vasco da Gama. So nearly nine years later, I finally attended another professional match, this time here in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a reincarnation of the Miami Fusion, played its first game this past Friday at Lockhart Stadium. We ended up losing 1-2, but it was great to see South Floridians, of every background, come support their home team.

We lost to the Canadian team, FC Edmonton. Ugh… There’s nothing worse than losing to Canadians. The only good thing about losing to our northern neighbors is that they are soooo nice. Like, you won’t find too many sore winners up there. They had two players who really dominated the game: Shaun Saiko (who the PA announcer pronounced “psycho” when he scored a goal – and the crowd started giggling like little school girls) and the diminutive Alex Semenets (who wore an XL jersey when he probably could have gotten away with a Small).

Anyhoos, I hope South Florida continues embracing the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Under much hyped promotion (including a little spoof on the Paul and Young Ron Show), Friday’s game saw a crowd of 6,402 – and the team has high hopes it’ll surpass that number throughout the season.

Here’s the rest of the home schedule. Let me know if you plan to attend so we can do a lil’ tail-gater together.

April 15, 8:30p vs. NSC Minnesota Stars
May 14, 7:30p vs. FC Tampa Bay (oooooh… an in-state rivalry!)
May 28, 7:30p vs. Montreal Impact (let’s beat these Canadians!)
June 4, 7:30p vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
June 11, 7:30p vs. NSC Minnesota Stars
June 25, 7:30p vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
July 9, 7:30p vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
July 30, 7:30p vs. FC Edmonton
Aug. 6, 7:30p vs. Carolina RailHawks
Aug. 27, 7:30p vs. FC Tampa Bay
Sept. 3, 7:30p vs. Montreal Impact
Sept. 7, 7:30p vs. Carolina RailHawks
Sept. 17, 7:30p vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

The mascot, Hot Shot

The Strikers celebrate after scoring the first goal of the night

Paulo Henrique Le Petit, a midfielder, handles the ball

A cute kid dons a Strikers T-shirt


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