Fort Lauderdale Strikers Sign Five to Roster as Opening Night Looms

via press release:

Last season’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers roster had the lowest average age of any team in the NASL. Today the Strikers announced the signings of Carlos Salazar, Cody Laurendi, Stefan Antonijevic, Justin Chavez and Mike Dietze, five players who will give the Strikers the experience needed to compete for serve to add depth to the roster as the team prepares to kick off the 2013 Spring season on April 6 at historic Lockhart Stadium. Per team policy, terms of the contracts we not disclosed.

“We are excited about our group and feel like our newcomers really fit in with our veteran, core guys,” said head coach Daryl Shore. “Our locker room is now a much more professional environment and it is thanks to the experience of the players we’ve brought in.”

Carlos Salazar, 31, has played professionally for club teams in Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Venezuela, Iran, Panama and now the United States. His experience includes matches in tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores and for the Colombian U23 national team. He has appeared in more than 250 professional matches, scoring 50 goals over that span.

“Carlos Salazar is a player who has played in a lot of big places and a lot of big games,” said Shore. “Adding him and the previous veteran signings, Shavar Thomas and Ivan Guerrero, to our young talent gives us a really good group.”

Laurendi, 24, comes to the Strikers after two seasons in mainly a reserve role with the Puerto Rico Islanders. A native of Melbourne, Laurendi returns to his home state to challenge incumbent Strikers’ keeper Matt Glaeser and work with the team’s outstanding goalkeepers coach Ricardo Lopes.

Justin Chavez, 23, and Mike Dietze, 23, join the Strikers after catching the team’s eye at the 2013 NASL Combine. Chavez attended college at Tulsa where he was a four-year letter winner for the Golden Hurricane, starting 75 of 77 games and recording five goals and four assists. Dietze joins the Strikers after completing a four-year college career at Seton Hall University.

Stefan Antonijevic, 24, played college soccer at Valparaiso University where, as a defender he recorded eight goals and three assists in 59 appearances over three seasons for the Crusaders. Antonijevic was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

The trio of Chavez, Dietze and Antonijevic have all signed their first professional contracts.

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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