[NASL] Mother Nature worked against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in Saturday’s second leg of the NASL final. The heavy rains kept away thousands of fans
anticipated to make it one of the largest crowds in recent memory for a soccer game at Lockhart Stadium. And the bad weather made it difficult for the Strikers to generate much offense, which meant
the 0-0 tie gave the NSC Minnesota Stars a 3-1 victory on aggregate and the 2011 NASL title.
The crowd was announced at 6,849 and impressed Ray Hudson, who starred on original Strikers in the old NASL.
"When we played our first game here in this stadium," he told the Sun-Sentinel, "[it] was probably in front of a crowd less than this. That was the start of the Strikers rolling."
The Stars had won, 3-1, in Blaine a week earlier with three well-taken goals and sat back and defended their lead.
The Stars, owned by the NASL, also drew new support in a soccer town that dates back to the days of the NASL.
The baseball Twins, football Vikings and hockey Wild purchased 1,000 tickets to help the Stars draw more than 4,000 fans for the first leg at the National Soccer Stadium.
The Stars arrived in 2009, following the demise of the Thunder, who won Minnesota's only soccer title in 1999 when it was crowned the A-League champion.
The Thunder's coach was Buzz Lagos. Hs son, Manny Lagos, coached the Stars to the 2011 NASL championship.