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Strikers set to face Laredo Heat in Open Cup at Lockhart on Today

Strikers set to face Laredo Heat in Open Cup at Lockhart on Today

Fort Lauderdale or Laredo will host FC Dallas on May 28 with a victory

By the Fort Lauderdale Strikers

 
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 20, 2013) – The 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup returns to historic Lockhart Stadium on Tuesday, May 21 when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers welcome the Laredo Heat of the PDL, US Soccer’s fourth division, with kick off at 7:30pm. The winner of the match will advance to the tournament’s third round to face FC Dallas of MLS next Tuesday, May 28. Should the Strikers win, they will host FC Dallas in the match slated for kickoff at 7:30pm.

“Laredo is a team with a lot of success in the PDL and the Open Cup, so I don’t think they are going to come in afraid of who we are,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “We’re not expecting to walk away with this game. They are a dangerous team and we need to come in prepared and ready to play if we want the opportunity to host FC Dallas next week.”

Fort Lauderdale has two veteran players who have the experience of winning an Open Cup. Strikers’ captain Shavar Thomas won the tournament in 2004 with Kansas City and defender Ivan Guerrero won in 2008 with D.C. United. The Strikers also have several players with Open Cup experience from their games in 2012. Forward Aly Alberto Hassan leads the team with three goals in Open Cup play, while Mark Anderson has two goals and Walter Restrepo has one.

The Laredo Heat play in the Premier Development League (PDL), in the Mid-South Division of the Southern Conference. They have finished first in their division in six of the past seven seasons including winning the league in 2007. The club qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup and defeated PSA Elite in the tournament’s first round to advance to face Fort Lauderdale.

The Heat are coached by Fernando Hernandez and are currently second in their division in the PDL with a win and a draw in their two matches this season. Leading the team in scoring is midfielder Alejandro de la Garza with two goals and one assist and forward Daniel Garza with one goal.

This year marks the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. All Division I, II and III professional clubs are participating in the tournament. The Division I field includes all 16 domestic MLS teams, which marks the second consecutive year that all Division I teams will take part. Meanwhile, all six domestic NASL teams (Division II) and all 10 domestic USL PRO teams (Division III) complete the balance of the 32 professional sides participating. This 2013 competition marks the second year of participation for the NASL. The amateur entries feature 32 teams from various leagues including the U.S. Adult Soccer Association (including USASA regional qualifiers), the PDL and the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

MATCH FACTS

FTL is 6-6 all-time in the Open Cup
FTL is 0-1 in Penalty shootouts in the Open Cup (Losing 3-4 to the El Paso Patriots in 2007)
This is the first ever meeting between the two teams

NEXT UP

The Strikers return to NASL league play against FC Edmonton on the road on Sunday, May 26, at 4:00pm. All Strikers NASL matches are streamed live online at www.strikers.com. 
 
ABOUT THE FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, South Florida's only professional men’s soccer team, are in their eighth season in 2013. The Strikers have been a part of the North American Soccer League [NASL] since the 2011 season. The team is owned by Traffic Sports USA, the North American subsidiary of The Traffic Group, the leading soccer event management company in the Americas, with headquarters in Brazil, and offices in the U.S. and Europe. The organization is committed to the advancement of soccer in South Florida at the youth, amateur and professional levels. The Strikers are pursuing a permanent home at a significantly renovated Lockhart Stadium, their current home, or at a new soccer-specific stadium in South Florida. More information on the team can be found at http://www.strikers.com. Follow the Strikers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.