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Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo becomes first player signing in Jacksonville Armada FC history

Oct 21, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - October 21, 2014 - The Armada FC, Jacksonville’s new professional North American Soccer League team, announced goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo (Me-gehl Gah-yar-doh) as its first-ever player signing. Gallardo becomes the first official member of the roster for the team, which begins its inaugural NASL season in April 2015. He will anchor the foundation of the team currently being built from his vital position in goal.

"Today is an incredible moment in the history of the Armada FC and a key building block as we assemble a team that Jacksonville will be proud to call its own," said Mark Frisch, owner, Armada FC. "When we are looking for players, of course we are looking at skill. We are also looking at players who will contribute to the team’s great reputation and help grow the game and the NASL. We have found such a player in Miguel."

Gallardo, 29, joins Armada FC from Major League Soccer’s Orlando City Soccer Club, where he was starting goalkeeper for four years during the club’s play in the United Soccer Leagues Professional Division. In Orlando City’s inaugural year in 2011, Gallardo was chosen as the USL Pro Goalkeeper of the Year and he led the team to its first USL Pro Championship win. During Gallardo’s tenure, Orlando City also won the USL Pro Championship in 2013 and three Commissioner’s Cups in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Gallardo was named USL Pro Fan’s Player of the Year in 2008 and served as the team captain for three years, earning more than 51 wins and 33 shutouts.

"It is an honor to be the first signing in Armada FC’s history," said Gallardo. "Jacksonville is a city with a passion for soccer, and I am thankful for this great opportunity to come here and play for the Armada FC. I appreciate the team’s faith in me, and look forward to being out in the community, supporting the club in any way I can, and a great 2015 inaugural season."

A native of Torreón, Mexico, Gallardo relocated at a young age to Texas, where he played with the local Longhorn Soccer Club and Austin Capitals Soccer Club.  In 2003, he joined the USL Premier Development League as part of the Austin Lightning where he played for three years.  In 2006, Gallardo returned to Mexico to train with the  Tigres of the  Primera División A  de Mexico,  before becoming the first player to sign with  the USL first division expansion franchise the Austin Aztex. He followed the franchise in 2011 when it relocated to Orlando and its name was changed to Orlando City Soccer Club. In his Orlando City career, Gallardo compiled 51 wins and 27 clean-sheets. His goals against average never rose above approximately 1.00 in a single season, resulting in a career average of 0.733.

"Armada FC has received a great deal of interest both from local and international players to become part of our team here," said Dario Sala, general manager, Armada FC. "We are proud to welcome Miguel as our first signing. He encompasses all that we are looking for in our players - a well-developed skill set, strong character, leadership ability, a great resumè and a desire to be a part of our team and our community."

From 5 - 7 p.m. on Oct. 21, Jacksonville Armada FC will hold a special meet and greet with Gallardo at Fionn MacCool’s at the Jacksonville Landing. Fans are invited to come out and welcome the club’s first official signed player.

Armada FC expects to make additional player announcements over the next several weeks as it eventually rounds out its roster to 27 by January 2015. For more information about Miguel Gallardo, please click on this link.

About the Jacksonville Armada FC

Jacksonville Armada FC is Jacksonville’s newest professional sports team and a member of the North American Soccer League. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, San Antonio Scorpions FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Jacksonville Armada FC and Oklahoma City are scheduled to commence play in 2015.    For more information about the Armada FC, visit www.ArmadaFC.com.  Follow the Armada FC on Twitter @ JaxArmadaFC and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JaxArmadaFC. For more information about the NASL, visit www.NASL.com. Follow the NASL on Twitter @NASLOfficial and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NASLfans. Fans can watch every game live at www.NASLlive.com.