October 27, 2016 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will be facing off with the Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday in the final match of the 2016 NASL Regular Season. Both teams have been eliminated from postseason consideration. The Strikers 2016 campaign began on January 10 with a showdown in the Florida Cup against German powerhouse FC Schalke 04. Following a trip to China, the Strikers began NASL play in April.
Fort Lauderdale has won both meetings against Ottawa this season and looks for a season sweep on Saturday. In 2014 Fort Lauderdale closed the season versus Ottawa and secured a postseason berth thanks to a late Aly Hassan goal in a 1-1 draw at Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers beat Minnesota the following week at NSC Stadium in the NASL Championship Semifinals before falling to San Antonio in the final 2-1. Ottawa is coming off a 1-1 draw in St Petersburg which eliminated the Rowdies from NASL postseason consideration. The Strikers 2-0 loss last Saturday to Rayo OKC eliminated Fort Lauderdale from postseason consideration. The Strikers have collected two vans full of goods for distribution in Haiti during October home games. The island nation is suffering from the impact of Hurricane Matthew. The effort was spearheaded by current players Jean-Marc Alexandre and Pascal Millien as well as former player Stephane Guillaume . The Strikers are wearing pink kits for all matches in October as part of the #DrivePink Campaign in cooperation with AutoNation and the Breast Cancer Research foundation. Geison Moura has started four successive games and has scored the winning goal in each of the last two matches.The Brazilian winger had started just one match in the month of September, a 1-1 draw at Rayo OKC on September 18. Junior Sandoval has played in all seven matches since signing with Fort Lauderdale on September 23. Bruno made his 16th successive start in goal against Rayo OKC for and has kept six clean sheets in that period. Fort Lauderdale is one of only three NASL teams to qualify for the postseason four times. The Strikers are the only team in history to competitively defeat each of the other four active pro clubs in the state. Fort Lauderdale made history defeating Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer on June 29, 2016 in the US Open Cup fifth round at Camping World Stadium. Maicon Santos leads the Strikers with seven goals. Former Juventus, Parma and Napoli Striker Amauri who has been capped for Italy has scored four times for Fort Lauderdale since signing with the club on August 9. Local Broward County product Manny Gonzalez has climbed the all-time Strikers appearance list this season and now sits eighth on the modern Fort Lauderdale list. Gonzalez's 64 appearances.