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Antonijevic, Chavez Return With Strikers

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced that defenders Stefan Antonijevic and Justin Chavez have re-signed with the club for the 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) season.

"One of our off-season goals was to ensure that the core group of players that led our team last year would play for us again in 2014,” said Strikers Managing Director Tim Robbie. “Antonijevic and Chavez both showed tremendous promise last year.  We expect both players to make significant contributions to our team going forward."

Both Antonijevic, 25, and Chavez, 23, signed their first professional contracts with the Strikers ahead of the 2013 campaign. The pair made their full debuts in the center of defense in a 1-0 win in Edmonton on May 26th, earning both a place on the NASL Team of the Week.

Antonijevic became a regular starter for head coach Günter Kronsteiner in the Fall season, starting all but two matches. The six-foot-six center back formed a formidable partnership with Rafael Alves, dubbed by some fans as the “Two Towers.” The partnership looks to remain intact as Alves will also be returning to the Strikers for the upcoming season.

Strikers supporters group "Flight 19" honored Antonijevic at the end of the season, awarding the rookie defender the inaugural "Flight 19 Golden Scarf" as their 2013 Player of the Year.

Chavez signed with the Strikers after a successful collegiate career at the University of Tulsa. He was a starting center back for the Golden Hurricane during his four year stint at the university, making 77 appearances and tallying five goals and four assists.

Capable of playing in the center of defense or as a central midfielder, Chavez made 5 starts in 13 appearances for the Strikers in 2013.

Antonijevic and Chavez are the 13th and 14th players from the 2013 roster to re-sign for the upcoming year. The Strikers have also signed German Bundesliga veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov and Miami native Shawn Chin.

Fans can follow Antonijevic and Chavez on Twitter: Antonijevic - @stef2def0007, and Chavez - @chavo_6

For the latest information on player signings during the offseason, stay tuned to Strikers.com. Remember to like us on Facebook.com/FTLStrikers and follow the Strikers on Twitter @FTLStrikers.

Strikers season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale by calling 954-606-0400 or at www.strikers.com.