The history of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers begins long before some of the greatest names in international soccer graced the pitch at Lockhart Stadium. The team even reaches back to a time before the North American Soccer League.
The Strikers featured no shortage of amazing talent with players like George Best, Gordon Banks, Gerd Müller, Bernd Hölzenbein, Ray Hudson, Nene Cubillas and Jan van Beveren, in the red and yellow bumble bee kit. But, before we get there we start with humble beginnings.
Soccer in South Florida began in 1972 with the formation of the Miami Gatos. Led by players Warren Archibald, Roberto Aguirre and Willie Evans, the team played in the first division of the North American Soccer League (NASL). After one year as the Gatos, the team was renamed the Miami Toros. The Toros had a very successful 1974 campaign in which they made it to the championship game led by First-Team All-Stars Roberto Aguirre and Ronnie Sharp. With league MVP players two out of four years in Warren Archibald (1973) and Steve David (1975) the Toros left an impression on the NASL, but what would follow in 1977 would change the landscape of professional soccer in South Florida forever.