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Former English Premier League striker Jemal Johnson joins Armada FC attack

Dec 19, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (December 19, 2014) - The Armada FC, Jacksonville’s new North American Soccer League (NASL) team, made a major addition to its attack on Thursday with the signing of former English Premier League forward Jemal Johnson (Juh-maul Johnson).

Johnson, 29, is expected to be a strong addition to the Armada FC’s attack with his top-flight experience in arguably the world’s most elite soccer league. He also brings NASL experience after spending 2013-14 with the New York Cosmos and the 2013 spring season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

"Jemal is a very interesting player with good top-flight experience," said Armada FC General Manager Dario Sala. "We expect him to earn a starting spot and play an important role on our team during the season. The competition on our roster will be a demanding process from every player each week, and I’m confident that Jemal is up to the challenge."

A native of Paterson, N.J., Johnson moved to England with his family when he was five-years-old. He originally signed with the Manchester United Youth Academy and moved to the Blackburn Rovers Academy when he was 16.

Johnson made his professional debut in 2005 with Blackburn in the FA Cup Third Round and earned his first start against Colcester United, where he scored his first professional goal. He made three substitute appearances with Blackburn in the EPL during the 2004-05 season. Johnson has also played with a number of other English clubs, including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Milton Keynes Dons. Johnson has tallied 25 goals and 13 assists in 217 career appearances.

"I am very excited to be here," Johnson said. "This is a great group of guys with a great staff and coach. I like the philosophy and how they want to play the game. I think my experience with the game and this league will be helpful, especially with the younger players around me."

Johnson is the seventh player officially signed to the club’s first team and joins goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, defenders Matt Bahner, Shawn Nicklaw and Fabricio Ortiz and midfielders Jaime Castrillón and Lucas Rodriguez.

The Armada FC expects to make additional player announcements over the next several weeks as it eventually rounds out its full roster by the start of the new NASL season in April 2015.