Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't Forget About The Strikers

With so much going on in the world of soccer it's hard to focus on what's really important around here.

Have you been sucked into the quadrangle "clasico" that is Real Madrid vs. Barcelona?

Are you crying over spilled milk over Real Salt Lake's disappointing display and loss in the CONCACAF Champions League Final?

Can't get enough of top-notch women's soccer in your backyard?

Well get a hold of yourselves! A true Striker Liker must look past all those things and focus on his/her team. The Strikers have improved with their first three outings, besting themselves each time out, starting with a loss, followed by a draw, then a dramatic late win.

Now comes our biggest test. This Friday marks the real start of the season. The Puerto Rico Islanders, defending champions and undefeated thus far, they will show the Strikers if there are contenders or pretenders.

Watch the game live here.

Side note, we are a less than a month away from the Strikers homecoming, hosting FC Tampa Bay. See you all there!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Strikers Win! Strikers Win! Strikers Win! 2-1 versus the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Day to Remember

It was a Wednesday like no other. Jam-packed with soccer action and news and unfortunately, you won't see any of it on ESPN's Sportscenter.

First off, let's just say that this 4/20 was awesome!

The day began with the Benny Feilhaber saga. Here in the states you see, clubs don't buy players, the league does, then assigns them accordingly. Chivas USA were next in line for a player acquisition, but passed up on Feilhaber. Philly passed up too, leaving the New England Revolution no choice but to become instant title contenders. The MLS is shaping up quite nicely as now New England, New York and DC all have star quality to match the big names on the West Coast.

But back to the soccer on the field. First up was a pair of Premier League matches and the Arsenal-Tottenham game didn't disappoint (unless you are either an Arsenal or Tottenham fan). With title hopes and Champions League qualification on the line, neither team helped their cause in the 3-3 stunner at Tottenham's White Heart Lane.

Then came the Copa del Rey final, otherwise known as the second chapter of the 'Clasico' quartet. Over the weekend Real Madrid and Barcelona tied 1-1 in their league matchup. This matchup was also tied at the end of regulation, but Real Madrid took advantage of the slim chances when Christiano Ronaldo got onto a Angel DiMaria cross and headed home the 1-0 winner. The next two installments will be home and away Champions League semi final games.

And speaking of Champions League, Real Salt Lake took a huge step in becoming the first MLS team to make it to the annual FIFA World Club Cup with a dramatic 2-2 draw in Mexico. RSL came back twice and got a glorious 89th minute equalizer from Javier Morales to give themselves more than a fighting chance to become champions of North and Central America.

All in all it was just as exciting as the World Cup with multiple games going on, news breaking and speaking of things breaking, Real Madrid went back home after the game, boarded a bus, started driving around Madrid with their new trophy and then dropped it and watched the bus run right over it. Classic.

The soccer gods were smiling down on us today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2 Weeks Down!

Has it already been 2 weeks? I guess it has. 2 Weeks, 2 games, 2 goals, 1 point but most importantly: 10,000 fans!

That's right, backing up opening day's 6,000 was last Friday's 4,000 crowd that saw the Strikers hang on and find a way to get a goal back and tie NSC Minnesota.

It's a promising sight for us Striker Likers who have been clinging on the distant memories. Now we've got a future to look forward to.

Let's be critical of our disappointing start, but not discouraged. Remember this is a new team, although the core of the Miami FC still exist, there are a lot of new pieces and these first few games are still feeling like preseason games.

After this upcoming road trip be prepared to see a Striker squad welcome their instate rivals from Tampa Bay and give them a thorough bashing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Timbers Army Sing National Anthem

I stayed up a little late last night to catch the opening minutes of the Portland Timbers as they played their first home game ever as an MLS side. To my complete giddiness and satisfaction, the Portland supporters (aka the Timbers Army) performed the national anthem and it was awesome!

Click here if you missed it.

For us Striker Likers, just having the Strikers back in town has been a huge accomplishment, if not a wish come true. But now we must focus and keep bringing that passion we showed last week to each and every Striker home game. We can have an MLS team again if we can prove we will support it.

Let's show the States what the Striker Likers are all about. See you all tonight, let's beat up on Minnesota!

One more thing, in the ASL/APSL days of the Strikers, when the national anthem was sung, we used to always it end off with, "and the home of the STRIKERS!" I did it last week in homage, and I'm gonna do it again tonight, who's gonna join me?

Monday, April 11, 2011

As One Sun Sets, Another Rises

The dark ages are finally over. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have returned. They've eaten up completely what was Miami FC and have reinvigorated a market starving for professional soccer. And although it began with a loss, there was a feeling that everything was good in the world. The Strikers were back and that only means good things.

When this blog began inauspiciously a few years ago, we figured we could conjure up old memories and somehow put a spin on the local soccer conversation. But today marks a new era. There is a team now, real and made of living things. There is a team we must support, a team we must question and above all a team we must be proud to call our own. So although some may argue that we just have Miami FC in better looking uniforms, let this be a warning to you. When you call yourself a Striker Liker, you take on a responsibility to bring soccer into the future and to prove that South Florida is no retirement home.

So today we grieve over a season opening loss but to the fans, the community we scored a landmark victory. 6,402 was the announced attendance. It may drop slightly on Friday's follow up match against Minnesota, but there will be a presence in the stands. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are back and so are the Striker Likers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A 2-1 loss. It'll take a little more than rebranding to make soccer is South Florida respectable again.
2 goals to start the second half. We're tied at one. The drama continues on opening night.
It's the first game of the season, shouldn't we have at least 2 forwards out there? 15 minutes in Edmonton has had the better chances.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Start the Season!

Next posting will be live from Lockhart.

See everyone tomorrow!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thomas Rongen, Thanks for the Memories

It cannot be disputed that Thomas Rongen will always remain a legendary figure in the hearts of Striker Likers. He spanned two generations of Likers by playing here in Fort Lauderdale during the NASL days, then staying through to see the Strikers win their only championship in 1989 with the ASL/APSL version of the team.

Recently, his actions are a bit disappointing. In case you missed it the U-20 US Men's National Team fell 1-2 to Guatemala last night and were eliminated from qualification for the U-20 World Cup. Thomas Rongen is the coach of the U-20 US Men's National Team.

Not acceptable.

Thomas, we love you as a Striker, but please, this is embarrassing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vote Striker Likers as Best Sports Blog!

Striker Likers here is up for a Best of Blogs Award from Sun-Sentinel. If you like the posts you're reading, are a huge Striker Liker, or just love soccer, click here and vote!

And not to play sides, the wonderful folks over at Football in Miami and Beyond (who are fellow Striker Likers) are also nominated.

Get out there and vote! Let's show them soccer matters in South Florida.