The Fort Lauderdale Strikers boosted their player development efforts Wednesday, announcing the creation of Fort Lauderdale Strikers U-23, a developmental team that will compete in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) beginning in 2016.
“Our aim for Fort Lauderdale Strikers U-23 is to provide an avenue for local talent to develop at a high level before transitioning to the first team,” Strikers CEO Sean Guerin said. “The NPSL is an established league with a strong national footprint and a growing presence in Florida. We believe the league aligns perfectly with our player development goals.”
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the Fourth Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid and is affiliated with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL remains one of the largest and fastest-growing national leagues in North America with over 80 teams.
Strikers U-23 will compete in the Sunshine Conference of the South Region, which currently includes: Jacksonville United FC, Kraze United (Orlando), Miami Fusion FC, Miami United, Storm FC and Weston FC.
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Since joining Fort Lauderdale in July, originally as general manager, recently appointed coach Caio Zanardi is tasked with overseeing all aspects of coaching and player development, including the U-23 team. The Strikers will announce the U-23 coach later this month.
Details regarding a home venue and match tickets will be announced at a later date.