The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced today an international tournament that will take place in January and bring together some of the most recognizable soccer clubs on the planet. While the current ownership of the club got off to a rocky start in running the organization in the past few months significant and noticeable progress has been made. The Florida Cup continues that upward trend and here are a few of the likely direct results of this announcement and related developments.
- The team will finally be switching its players to year-round contracts.
- Each player the club intends to resign will do so by the time they leave the club this season – different than last season when several star players were left in limbo and many of them signed for the rival Tampa Bay Rowdies.
- Next season’s squad will be completely assembled by January. The 2015 squad wasn’t fully assembled until mid-March.
- New kits for 2016 might be available in time for Christmas shopping. This season’s kits were not available until April.
In addition the club is likely to be able to bring in some additional friendlies between late January and mid-March at Lockhart against high-profile international clubs. The team is also exploring the possibility of taking an international trip much like the Rowdies did this year in preseason.
The Strikers are still likely to take a local college tour this March. All of the above items show the immense progress the team is making in a short period of time.
The teams for the Florida Cup are as follows:
Brazil (Campeonato Brasileiro Série A) – Atlético Mineiro; Corinthians; Fluminense; Internacional
Colombia (Categoíra Primera A league) – Independiente Santa Fe
Germany (Bundesliga) – Bayer 04 Leverkusen; FC Schalke 04
Ukraine (Ukrainian Premier League) – FC Shakhtar Donetsk
United States (North American Soccer League) – Fort Lauderdale Strikers