Soccer

Fort Lauderdale Strikers fire Kronsteiner for second time

For the second time in 11 months, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers fired Coach Gunter Kronsteiner after he led the team from last place to the playoffs.
For the second time in 11 months, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers fired Coach Gunter Kronsteiner after he led the team from last place to the playoffs. EL NUEVO HERALD

For the second time in 11 months, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers fired Coach Gunter Kronsteiner after he led the team from last place to the playoffs.

In 2014, he took the Strikers to the NASL championship game, where they lost 2-1 to the San Antonio Scorpions. He was fired after the season, and then was rehired on June 30, 2015 to turn around the team again after it struggled in the spring portion of the season.

Kronsteiner, a 62-year-old Austrian, led the team to an 8-6-6 record over the summer and fall, made the playoffs, and lost 2-1 in the semifinal to the eventual league champion New York Cosmos.

Assistant coach Raoul Voss was also let go.

"We appreciate Günter and Raoul for their contributions to our success of the Strikers this season," Strikers CEO Sean Guerin said in a statement. "They accepted the challenge, made themselves available this summer and helped turn our fortunes for the NASL fall season. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors."

Kronsteiner, reached by phone, said he was not given a clear reason for his dismissal and that he will miss the players and fans.

“I had a very close relationship with the Strikers fans, which is the reason I came back,’’ Kronsteiner said. “They were very supportive of me and the players. It was something very special. My wish is that the fans will continue to support those players because they deserve the support.’’

When Kronsteiner was hired in June, Strikers managing partner Ricardo Geromel said: “We remain convinced that the team possesses tremendous potential. Under Günter’s leadership, we expect to realize this potential.”

Kronsteiner’s overall record was 24-22-17.

The Strikers are expected to name a new coach in the next few weeks. Technical director Caio Zanardi is considered a leading candidate. Zanardi, who was hired in July, was previously the coach of the Brazilian U-17 national team and had a 16-5-1 record.

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