Miami Toros

The Miami Toros only played for five seasons before moving to Ft Lauderdale and becoming the Strikers in 1977. In their first year, the Toros were called the Gatos, which is Spanish for “cat”. John Bilotta, a Rochester, N.Y., businessman, had mistakenly thought soccer, not baseball, was the national sport of Cuba and that Cubans would embrace the team. They didn’t, and neither did anyone else as the Gatos lost a reported $250,000 in 1972. In 1973 Bilotta sold the franchise for $25,000, the name was changed to Toros because “most recognize that El Toro is a fierce bull, and they can pronounce it,” said new managing partner Angel Lorie. Their slogan, “Soccer, it’s the name of the game”. The team tried to accommodate a Hispanic market that wasn’t really interested in soccer, apparently Bilotta was under the mistaken assumption that Cubans played soccer. That and poor promotion resulted in an average of no more than 6,200 spectators in any of its five seasons.

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