Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Strikers coach says he was fired by getting kicked out of hotel room

By: Andy Slater (@AndySlater)

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers soccer team didn't want their coach back next season. Instead of speaking with him, the team allegedly informed the hotel to kick him out of his room.

Gunter Kronsteiner is booked on a flight next Monday to leave South Florida since the season concluded. He was staying at the Sawgrass Grand hotel in Sunrise, FL. while coaching the Strikers. Friday, three days before his scheduled flight, he says hotel staff knocked on his door telling him he has to leave the room as soon as possible. Kronsteiner said Saturday at 6:30 a.m. hotel staff knocked on the door again.

"No one from the team told me my contract was not being renewed," Kronsteiner said when reached by phone. "I officially found out when someone from the hotel told me I had to leave because the Strikers ordered me out of the room they were paying for." 

Kronsteiner said he heard from a few people that work for the Strikers that the team may not renew his contract, but those were just rumblings.

"I tried numerous times after the season to reach someone in management, but no one ever got back to me," Kronsteiner said. 

Briefed on the story, a Strikers spokesman said "Gunter met with the CEO on Thursday about awards, but I am not sure what else may have been discussed." 

Kronsteiner said around 10:00am Saturday morning, the manager of the Sawgrass Grand got involved and informed him he'd be welcome to stay in his room until he needs to catch his flight on Monday --- even though the order came from the Strikers to kick him out. Kronsteiner even posted the news on his Facebook page. 

The Strikers are taking credit for it, though. Their spokesman said they "certainly never gave a directive to the hotel to kick him out. We learned of the possible miscommunication and rectified it."

The manager of the Sawgrass Grand did not return a phone call asking for comment. 

Kronsteiner was named Strikers head coach in June after his contract was previously not renewed following the 2014 season, in which he guided the team to their league's title match.

The Strikers play in the North American Soccer League. The team's season ended on Nov. 7 as they lost in a semi-final match to the New York Cosmos. 

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