Strikers, Cosmos Renew Rivalry After 30 Years at Lockhart Stadium This Saturday

Photo By: Rosa Cavalcanti

Photo By: Rosa Cavalcanti

By: Pedro Heizer

After nearly 30 years, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers will host the New York Cosmos at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday as the first-place Cosmos look for their first win away from home this season, and the Strikers look to climb to first in the NASL standings.

The last time the two teams met at Lockhart Stadium was on May 4, 1983, when 13,741 fans watched “Nene” Cubillas, Ray Hudson, Jan van Beveren and the rest of the Strikers defeat the star-studded Cosmos with players such as Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, and Roberto Cabañas, 4-1.

This has truly been a tale of two halves for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who were in dead last with only eight points in the Spring Championship Season. However, under new head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and 19-year old goalkeeper sensation Richard Sanchez, the Strikers look like one of the top teams in the league this Fall.

“Fort Lauderdale is a completely different team than the one we beat at home,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese, whose Cosmos stole a 2-1 win over the Strikers with an injury time goal on August 3.  “They’ve seen every team in the league and are much better.  We’re going to have to play our best and treat this game like another final, like we’ve been doing every weekend.”

The Strikers currently hold a five game unbeaten streak, haven’t lost since August 10, and are tied for second place with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Carolina Railhawks, all with 11 points, while the Cosmos (3-3-1)  have 12 points and sit atop the table.

“There’s a lot of excitement about our game against the Cosmos’” said Kronsteiner. “Not only because of the historical significance of the match, but the implications in the table.  The Cosmos are a really strong team, the leaders right now.  We need to continue to be strong on defense and try to find a way to get some goals and come out with a win.”

Tickets for the historic match are still on sale starting at $12 and can be purchased here.

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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