By Michelle Kaufman
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers can clinch an NASL playoff berth with a
home win or a tie Saturday night against the Puerto Rico Islanders at
Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers (9-9-7) are tied with the Carolina
Railhawks for fourth place with 34 points, two points behind the
Islanders. If they finish third or fourth, they will host a
first-round playoff game Sat. Sept. 29.
A season-high crowd of 5,659 showed up last week for the game against
the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and the Strikers would love a similar
atmosphere for Saturday's critical match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
The game, being billed as Legacy Night, will feature a tribute to
former Strikers players -- including Ray Hudson -- and ticket prices
will be sold at throwback prices, $7 general admission, $9 reserved
“We know how important this game is, first to qualify for the
playoffs, but also to try and get us seeding to have a home game in
the playoffs,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore. “We know Puerto Rico
has had some results that didn’t go their way so we have to be
prepared for their best game. We are focused on those things that have
made us a good team over the last month including defending as a team,
creating more chances and finishing those chances when we get them.”
The Strikers are 1-1-1 against Puerto Rico. The last time they played,
Aug. 18, it ended in a scoreless tie.
Puerto Rico is coming off a 3-1 home loss to the RailHawks.
The Strikers will be without Michael Tetteh, who received a red card
for violent conduct in the game against Tampa Bay and was given a
two-game suspension by the league.