Strikers fall to Schalke 04 in Florida Cup

Just 10 days into January, the NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were the first American pro club to begin preseason action, falling to German club Schalke 04, 2-0, in the second game at the Florida Cup.

The Strikers, who began preseason training just six days earlier, started only two players who were with them in 2015 for the match that drew just 1,104 fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

Schalke started a full-strength team and won on goals by Franco Di Santo and Leroy Sane.

“I am happy with our performance,” said Strikers head coach and general manager Caio Zanardi. “We played a very tough match against a tough opponent in Schalke. We were disciplined and organized. It was a good team effort and a strong showing from the players.”

The Strikers' lineup included Brazilian World Cup champion Kleberson, who played with Indy Eleven. The only returnees were Gabriel and PC.

In Sunday's first game, Bayer Leverkusen beat Copa Sudamericana champion Independiente Santa Fe, 1-0. The Strikers' next game is against Santa Fe on Sunday.
Jan. 10 in Kissimmee, Florida
Schalke 04 2 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 0. Goals: Di Santo 29, Sane 57.
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers -- Bruno; Gabriel (Pineda 89), Agbossoumonde, James, Saco Vertiz (Zapata 74); Paulo Cesar (Gonzalez 83), Kleberson (Adrianinho 58), Hlavaty (Skiadas 75); Moura (Attakora 62), PC, Maicon Santos (Angulo 71).
Schalke 04 -- Giefer (Gspurning 46), Riether (Caicara 46), Hoewedes (Kehrer 22, Matip 46), Neustaedter (Friedrich 46), Kolasinac (Aogo 46), Geis (Sivodedov 82), Goretzka (Hojbjerg 46, Sane (Sam 58), Meyer (Belhanda 46), Choupo-Moting (Schoepf 46), Di Santo (Huntelaar 46).
Att.: 1,104.

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