Armada FC returns to EverBank on Saturday for showdown with Rowdies

Mar 28, 2015
  Preseason Friendly #7 - Jacksonville Armada FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies 
 Match Details Saturday, March 28 | Jacksonville, Fla. | 5:30 p.m. 
EverBank Field | Weather | Tickets 
 Game Coverage Radio: Sports Radio 930-AM
Twitter: @ArmadaFCgameday
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 27, 2015) – The Jacksonville Armada FC will close out its preseason with a matchup against NASL in-state foe Tampa Bay Rowdies at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at EverBank Field. The contest in the final one in a tripleheader of action that starts at 12:30 p.m. with Flagler College and Jacksonville University and is followed by FC Edmonton and the Carolina RailHawks at 3 p.m.

It will be the second leg of the Armada FC Four-Team Challenge, which kicked off on Wednesday night at Jacksonville University. The first contest saw the Rowdies defeat FC Edmonton 2-1 before the Armada FC took the pitch later in the evening and won 2-0 over JU. Forward and JU alum Tommy Krizanovic was named the Farah & Farah Man of the Match after tallying an assist on newly-signed Akeil Barrett's match-winning goal.


  • The Armada FC will be playing its second match at EverBank Field and will look to extends its winning ways. The club previously defeated MLS' Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Feb. 7 in Jacksonville's inaugural match in front an NASL preseason record crowd 13,934.
  • Saturday's match will be the third of three in eight days for the Armada FC, by far the busiest stretch of action for the club in the preseason. The Armada FC won't have another loaded period of that sort until July when they take on the Atlanta Silverbacks (July 11), Minnesota United FC (July 15) and New York Cosmos (July 18).
  • It will be the first matchup with other NASL in-state foe Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday for the Armada FC. The Rowdies, who defeated FC Edmonton 2-1 on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Armada FC Four-Team Challenge, are one of the most recognizable old NASL brands that were resurrected when the modern-day NASL formed. Originally formed in 1975 and one of Tampa Bay's original professional sports teams, the Rowdies won the Soccer Bowl trophy in 2012.
  • The Armada FC will be without Pascal Millien and Shawn Nicklaw, who were both called up for international duty. Millien will join the Haitian national team for a friendly against China on March 27 in Guangzhou, China and a friendly against another Asian nation (TBD) on March 31. Nicklaw will play for Guam against Hong Kong on March 28 in Hong Kong. Both will return in time for the Armada FC's season opener on April 4 against FC Edmonton.
  • Jacksonville was awarded an NASL club on July 25, 2013, after a league meeting in Dallas. Owner Mark Frisch and general manager Dario Sala formed the Sunshine Soccer Group to bring professional soccer in Jacksonville. On Feb. 18, 2014, the club was officially branded the Jacksonville Armada FC. On June 11, 2014, the club announced Argentinian José Luis Villarreal and later announced on Jan. 26, 2015, that he would be joined at the helm with long-time friend and Lionel Messi mentor Guillermo Hoyos as co-head coach. On Oct. 21, 2014, Orlando City SC goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo was signed as the first player in club history.

Led by new head coach Thomas Rongen, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are 6-2-2 in the preseason and are fresh off a 2-1 win over FC Edmonton on Wednesday night. Georgi Hristov and Brian Shriver scored the club's goals. The club, which typically runs a 4-3-3, finished in seventh place combined for spring and fall 2014. The Rowdies have also defeated the Philadelphia Union this preseason, winning 1-0 on Feb. 10 in Clearwater, Fla.

The Armada FC is fresh off a 2-0 win over the Jacksonville University Dolphins on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Four-Team Challenge. Newest signee Akeil Barrett scored the match-winning goal while JU alum Tommy Krizanovic had the assist. Forward Jemal Johnson scored the other goal, which was his first of the preseason. The win snapped a two-match losing streak and wiped out a 270-minute scoreless stretch.

The Armada FC will kick off its NASL regular season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 against FC Edmonton at EverBank Field.