The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have ended their Florida Derby rivalry with their cross-state nemesis the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The United Soccer League announced on Tuesday that the Rowdies will join their organization as a new expansion franchise in 2017.
The Strikers and Rowdies have been bitter rivals going back to the original North American Soccer League from 1977 until 1983. Both teams renewed their rivalry in the current NASL from 2010 to 2016.
Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay battled it out in the Florida Derby for the Coastal Cup during this decade. The Rowdies won the trophy four straight years from 2010 until 2013 and also this past season while the Strikers captured the hardware in 2014 and 2015.