The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have added a wealth of experience and veteran leadership to the team’s back line with the signing of former Jamaican national team captain Shavar Thomas for the Spring season and the re-signing of last year’s team captain Toni Ståhl for the entire 2013 season. Per team policy, terms of the deals are not disclosed.
“Shavar has had a great professional, as well as a great international career, and we’re excited that he’s accepted to join our team as we look to build our defensive group for this season,” said head coach Daryl Shore. “We know he’s going to be a positive role model both on and off the field given the kind of leader he’s been for his clubs and his country. To add a player of his caliber is pretty special for us.”
Shavar Thomas, 32, has several championships to his credit including winning back-to-back Caribbean Championships in 2008 and as captain in 2010. Thomas was also a member of the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winning team while with Kansas City. He also played in the 2004 Olympics and in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2009 and 2011.
“My goal is always to win games and win championships, so hopefully we can be a strong unit and that will translate into us earning a lot of points,” said Shavar Thomas. “I’m looking forward to playing with the team. I’m very familiar with Lockhart Stadium having played there with Jamaica against teams like Peru and Colombia.”
Thomas brings 10 seasons of professional experience to the Strikers and shares a common bond with Toni Ståhl as both players attended the University of Connecticut.
Toni Ståhl, 27, has been a defensive stalwart for the Strikers since the 2011 season when he was named to the NASL’s Best XI team. Ståhl will resume his position at the center of defense after a successful 2012 season where he was second on the team in minutes with 1,859.
“We’re excited to bring Toni back as a part of our core group,” said Shore. “When you add him in with guys like Shavar [Thomas], Ivan Guerrero and Scott Gordon, we’d like to think we’re going to have a pretty good group in the back this year.”
The Strikers continue the 2013 preseason with a series of collegiate friendlies. The team will head across the state to take on Florida Gulf Coast University on Wednesday, March 13, before facing Barry University, Nova Southeastern, and Florida Atlantic University. Fort Lauderdale opens the 2013 NASL Spring season at historic Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, April 6, against FC Edmonton.