Fort Lauderdale continues its preparation for the 2016 Florida Cup with its fourth and fifth series of roster moves since Christmas Eve. With its first game in the competition against FC Schalke 04 on January 10, 2016, now exactly one week away, the club has shored up its goalkeeping corps and named a new number "10." Veteran Brazilian Adriano Manfred Laaber, aka Adrianinho, an attacking midfielder announced today, will play that role for the Strikers going forward. The goalkeepers, first announced on New Year’s Eve, are Bruno Cardoso, Diego Restrepo, and Matias Reynares.
Strikers Head Coach and General Manager Caio Zanardi gave Adrianinho a strong endorsement, stating he "is exactly the type of player we want as our number 10,… He sees the game differently than most players and adds another dimension to our attack with his ability to create scoring chances."
Adrianinho, 35, last played with Brazilian Serie A club Ponte Preta. In addition to Ponte Preta, he has also played with Brazilian giants Club de Regatas do Flamengo and Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. He is touted as a creative playmaker with a habit of making good things happen on set pieces. Except for a loan spell with Greek side OFI Crete, Adrianinho has spent his entire career in Brazil.
In addition to strengthening its attack, the club also addressed the gap in its defensive end by filling its goalkeeping ranks. With all the changes made at the end of the 2015 season, the Strikers were left without any goalies.
Here’s a brief overview of goalkeepers –
- Bruno, 31, comes from Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, where he has been since his U-13 days. He signed his professional contract with the club when he turned 16; he was also called up to Brazil’s U-17 team that year. He was named the best goalkeeper of the 2012 Copa do Brasil tournament, won by Palmeiras. In traditional Brazilian fashion, he goes by only one name;
- Restrepo, 27, born in Venezuela, he moved to South Florida when he was 11 and attended the IMG Soccer Academy at Bradenton, FL, and the University of South Florida. He also played for the US U-17 squad at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru. Most recently, Restrepo spent 2015 between Venezuelan side Metropolitanos FC, and USL’s Charlotte Independence. Prior to that he spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rowdies where he was recognized as NASL Player of the Week on three occasions in 2013; he was injured in 2014 and did not play.
As of this writing, the signings of Bruno and Restrepo are pending clearance of an International Transfer Certificate.
- Reynaras, 17, was born in Argentina, but grew up in South Florida. At the age of 14, he left Florida’s Weston FC to join Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting, in Montevideo, where he spent three years. He returned to Florida to sign his first professional contract with the Strikers. He is the youngest player to sign with the club in the NASL’s Modern Era.
The Strikers’ roster is currently comprised of 18 players. Expect more announcements this week as the club finalizes its preparations for 2016.