FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--Just a few days after signing his first professional contract with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, former Barry soccer standout Mark Anderson found himself on the pitch with his Buccaneer teammates. Only this time he was wearing yellow and red not the Buccaneer red and black we have become accustomed to seeing after a spectacular four-year career at Barry.
Barry struck first in the sixth minute of the match when senior forward Kendall Sealy’s shot found the back of the net to give the Bucs the early lead. After the Strikers were able to knot the match at one, the Buccaneers regained the lead when Sealy set up Joong Kim with a nifty backheel assist for a close range look which he converted.
Just minutes later the Strikers evened the match on Andy Herron’s second goal of the half, and a late goal by Polo Morales would secure a 3-2 advantage for the Strikers heading into the break.
Anderson entered the game an hour into the match, and the forward from Durham, England did not disappoint. Showing both unselfish play, and his keen ability to finish, Anderson played several balls to his teammates which were converted.
In the 67th minute Anderson assisted on Walter Restrepo’s goal that gave the strikers a 6-2 lead, but that would not be all for Anderson.
Relishing an opportunity to score against his former team, Anderson made a run from the right side in between the two center backs and received a ball from Aly Hassan through into the middle which he was able to toe just past his former teammate, Fred Perez into the bottom right corner of the net.
The game finished 7-2 after five unanswered goals by the Strikers.
Buccaneer’s head Steve McCrath said, “It was obvious that they had more depth and strong teams are able to dictate games and sustain a high level of play throughout a match. Overall it was a good experience having a 1-0 and then a 2-1 lead which could’ve been a 2-0 start; however Kim’s shot off the rebound deflected off the post in the early going. We showed our ability to be dangerous, and our ability to sustain danger which will be an important piece to our learning curve as a team, especially for the younger players.”
“It was really exciting to see Mark come in and tear-up his former teammates. It shows his level of skill and abilities are just in true,” said McCrath.
With McCrath at the helm of the program eleven former Buccaneers have gone on to play professionally with Anderson being the latest.
“It’s evidence that we’re doing things right from our training aspect throughout the program. The level of play at Barry has proven to be consistent and Mark has worked really hard as well. He was able to take his attitude as a person, a leader, and a player to another level. His success is well deserved,” said McCrath.
Assistant Henry Apaloo was also pleased with the Bucs overall performance, especially in the first half.
“Their fresh legs in the second half to go along with their experience and our lack of healthy bodies was a big factor,” said Apaloo.
However the Apaloo found it exciting to watch Anderson’s success even at the cost of the Buccaneers.
“It was great to see Mark get his professional career off to a good start, unfortunately it was against us. (Anderson) came in and changed the complexity of the game. He was involved in two goals and then scored himself. He really was the difference maker in the second half.”
The Buccaneers will continue their offseason workouts in preparation for the upcoming 2012 fall season.
BU - Kendall Sealy 6’
FTL – Andy Herron 18’
BU - Joong Kim (Kendall Sealy) 29’
FTL – Andy Herron (Alfonso Motagalvan) 34’
FTL – Polo Morales (Lance Laing) 45’
FTL – Walter Restrepo 57’
FTL – Andy Herron (Walter Restrepo) 65’
FTL – Walter Restrepo (Mark Anderson) 67 ‘
FTL – Mark Anderson (Aly Hassan) 82’