Strauber, the Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper, has been named first choice in the Israeli national team by current coach Avraham Grant. He has worked incredibly hard under the skilled tutelage of Russian legend Shura Ubarov to improve his all-around skills and is now in the best form of his career.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 20, 1974
Liran played for the Israeli Olympic team 17 times as a youngster in the Hapoel Tel Aviv youth team. He made his debut for the Reds as an 18-year-old during the 1992-93 season. Strauber could not make the starting lineup, however, and left for Kiryat Ono, where he spent the 1993-94 season.
In 1994-95, Strauber was made starting goalkeeper for top division side B'nei Yehuda were he conceded 47 goals in 29 starts. His form was impressive and he became a starter for the Israel Under-21 team as well. B'nei Yehuda finished 10th out of 16 and reached the State Cup quarter finals. Though impressive, Strauber was considered a erratic player who was prone to mistakes and thus spent the 1995-96 season with second division Ironi Ashdod.
B'nei Yehuda picked up Strauber's option and he was back on their roster for the 1996-97 campaign. Though Liran faced competition from Guy Nachshon for the starting keeper role, he enjoyed a successful season with the "Roosters." B'nei Yehuda finished tenth again, due to Liran's competence in goal and Alon Mizrahi's predatory scoring skills. Strauber picked up his first career title as B'nei Yehuda secured the Toto Cup.
In 1997-98, Strauber was sold to Hapoel Jerusalem and was one of the few outsiders oin a mostly homegrown side. Coach Yossi Mizrahi built a fierce cohesive unit in Jerusalem that suprised the league with its low budget success. They beat the Liran's youth team (Hapoel Tel Aviv) on penalties in the Israel Cup quarterfinals thanks to Strauber's excellence and reached the final after beating Hapoel Ber Sheva in a hard fought match. However, the valiant Reds were outgunned by Maccabi Haifa in the final. Jerusalem finished 11th overall that year. Jerusalem finished ninth the next year, although Strauber displayed moments of brilliance.
Avraham Grant, then coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, decided Liran would replace veteran keeper Shura Ubarov in 1999-2000. That season was an unmitigated disaster for everyone involved with Maccabi. They came in sixth despite a massive budget and performed pathetically all year long. Liran was so shaky that Ubarov had to leave the coaching staff to take over the position himself.
New coach Shlomo Scharf (later replaced by Nir Levin ) showed his lack of faith by signing Yugoslavian goalkeeper Adam Vesser during the 2000-01 pre-season. Strauber had to battle Vesser and even Ubarov at times for the starting berth, but won the job by the seasons end. Maccabi finished a disappointing fourth but won the State Cup by beating Maccabi Petah Tikva 3-0.
In 2001-02, Strauber finally made the long awaited leap to deserving top rank goalkeeper. He was far and away the best player Maccabi had to offer that season, and was finally as reliable as he was spectacular. Tel Aviv won the State Cup, beating Maccabi Haifa on penalties. Strauber also helped Maccabi to a third place finish and was recalled to the Israeli national squad thanks to his excellence.
Liran was one of the best players in Maccabi's title winning 2002-03 season side. His competence in goal allowed the younger attacking players to weave their spell, and Maccabi won the title on the last day of the season.
In August 12, 2003, Liran was being investigated for assaulting a fan after a training session. Later in the season he was accused of exploiting his member of Knesset (Israeli parliament) girlfriend to get him out of army reserve duty. Despite this, Liran was on his best form, conceding only 22 goals in 33 appearances which was far and away the best record in the league. Maccabi finished second in the league, six points behind Maccabi Haifa.
Strauber is tending goal for Maccabi in the 2004-05 season. Maccabi have qualified for the Champions League where they will face European elite teams Juventus, Bayern Munich and Ajax.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Player: 1992 - present
6'3", 164 pounds