Fort Lauderdale Strikers Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff Resigns


NASL Beat Writer

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced Sunday afternoon that head coach Marcelo Neveleff and soccer director Andre Chaves have resigned from their positions. The club also revealed that assistant coach Ricardo Lopes has been relieved of his duties.

Three-year Strikers veteran defender Iván Guerrero will act as interim head coach for the club’s final Spring match on Saturday against Minnesota United.

“I feel the team needs a new direction,” said Neveleff. “We built a strong squad that gave its best during every practice and game.  Sometimes, that is still not enough. I thank the players, my coaching staff, Claudio — the most loyal equipment manager — Ronaldo, Andre Chaves, Amaury Nunes, Strikers management, and the fans for a great five months.”

The moves comes only nine games into the 2015 campaign, with the Strikers holding a 2-2-5 record; tied with Atlanta at the bottom of the points table.

Neveleff had a few years of coaching experience in Bolivia at Wilstermann and Aurora, but primarily cut his teeth as the technical director of Weston FC; one of the most highly regarded youth soccer programs in South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale showed positive signs in the opening weeks of the Spring season with a totally overhauled roster but began to lose steam as the season progressed. The Strikers last win was on April 25th. Since that match, they have only managed two goals in five league matches. With capable and young players like PC on the roster, Neveleff began to receive the brunt of the criticism for the dip in form.

“We thank Andre, Marcelo and Ricardo for their contributions to the Strikers,” said Strikers Managing Partner Ricardo Geromel.  “While the team has been competitive, unfortunately, their efforts haven’t translated to success on the pitch this season. Each of these three gentlemen are great soccer minds and we wish them success. Going forward, we will evaluate every facet of our operation in an effort to deliver a team that makes our fans proud.”

The Strikers are the second NASL team to shake up its technical staff in the past seven days. Indy Eleven, the team that beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1 this weekend, dismissed Juergen Sommer as head coach and promoted assistant Tim Regan on an interim basis this past Tuesday.