As the 2016 Florida Cup approaches, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers continue to build a squad which looks considerably different than the one which made the North American Soccer League playoffs in each of the past two seasons. On Monday, the club made their biggest signing to date, adding former Manchester United man and World Cup winning midfielder Jose Kleberson to the squad.
Kleberson began his career at Atletico Paranaense, where he impressed enough to earn a spot in Brazil's 2002 World Cup winning squad. From there, the player made his way to Europe, where he spent two seasons with Manchester United before joining Turkish side Besiktas.
Kleberson returned to Brazil following his time in Europe, but in 2013, joined the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. He's spent the past two seasons in the NASL, where he was the most recognizable name on an mostly forgettable Indy Eleven squad. His move to South Florida ought to be a marked change for the Brazilian, as this is the first time since he's been playing in the United States that he's been part of a side that actually looked the part of a contender to start the new season.
With the addition of Kleberson, the Strikers' squad would appear to be mostly set ahead of the Florida Cup. I'm sure there will still be some minor additions as the NASL season gets a bit closer, but for the most part, the group right now is likely what we'll see on opening day. At the moment, it's hard to imagine the side not finishing near the top of the NASL table, and making a serious push at a third straight appearance in the postseason.