Strikers Defeat Florida Gulf Coast, Remain Perfect in Preseason

The Strikers remain undefeated during the preaseason after the team traveled to Florida’s West coast for a matchup versus the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Wednesday.

Fort Lauderdale’s trialist, Jemal Johnson, scored the lone goal of the match. The Strikers’ new addition, Shavar Thomas, played his first game as a member of the red and yellow last night and last season’s leading goal-scorer Mark Anderson played his first match of the preseason.

“Our organization was good and I thought Shavar and Toni were really good for their first game together,” said head coach Daryl Shore.

Shavar, who was the former captain of the Jamaican national team, played 65 minutes before leaving the match in favor of Stefan Antonijevic.

“The deal came together really quick and we are pleased he wanted to join our group,” said Shore. “He’s been a great addition and obviously is only going to make our team better.”

The Strikers controlled possession early which led to a good chance for Jemal Johnson in the 20th minute which was saved by the FGCU keeper.

Following the early play, the Eagles were able to earn some opportunities including two corner kicks. Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser was never really tested though, as he only had to make two saves despite the pressure from FGCU.

Coming out of halftime, the Strikers were the first to earn a scoring chance when, in the 56th minute, Shavar Thomas’ shot was put on frame, but pushed wide by the keeper for a corner kick. Minutes later Stefan Dimitrov was played into space alone in front of the Eagles’ keeper, but his shot was spectacularly saved.

The Strikers went up 1-0 in the 63rd minute when Jemal Johnson cut inside of an overlapping run by Darnell King, and fired home the squared in pass from King. Following the goal, FGCU sustained pressure and managed two opportunities including a goal which was negated for being offside.

Up Next: Fort Lauderdale faces the Barry University Buccaneers on Saturday, March 16, at 6:00pm.

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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