MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—Buccaneer soccer star Mark Anderson will be taking his talents to the next level after signing with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League this week.
“I’m very honored to be signing my first pro contract,” Anderson said. “It couldn’t have gone any better for me, signing with the local team right here in South Florida. It’s been hard work and lot of effort, not just for me, but for my family as well who have sacrificed a lot. It’s also great recognition for my coaches over the years, including (Barry head coach) Steve (McCrath) and (Barry assistant coach) Henry (Apaloo).”
Anderson enjoyed the best season in Barry history in 2011, scoring a school-record 21 goals and earning national Player of the Year honors on the NCAA Division II All-America team sponsored by Daktronics. Anderson, a three-time Daktronics All-American, is the second all-time leading scorer for the Bucs with 59 goals and 150 points, trailing only Alen Marcina (62 goals, 151 points – 1999-2002). He also tied former Buccaneer star Mike Lupton with 32 career assists for the most ever in Red & Black. Marcina also played for the Strikers after his Barry career.
The Strikers open the regular season on April 7 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., against FC Edmonton and play a total of 28 games through September 23. The NASL features nine teams: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota Stars FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, San Antonio Scorpions, and Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“It’s nice, a good feeling right now,” Anderson said, “but now I have the start with the hard work all over again from the beginning.”