Armada FC Signs Local Standout Garry Lewis

Mar 16, 2016

Armada FC Public Relations | March 16, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada FC continued to bolster its 2016 roster on Wednesday with the signing of local talent Garry Lewis.

Lewis, 29, has been on trial with the Armada since January and was previously on the club’s development squad in 2014 after being selected from one of the Armada FC’s initial invitational tryouts. He was sidelined for all of 2015 after sustaining a serious leg injury in a November 2014 scrimmage. A former player with prestigious collegiate program University of North Carolina, Lewis’ professional career has included stops in Finland and the United Soccer League.

“Garry offers us depth in the central part of our midfield,” said Tony Meola, Armada FC head coach and technical director. “We are happy to add Garry to the current group of players and look forward to his development."

The 5-foot-10 midfielder has called Jacksonville home for his entire life. Born and raised in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville, Lewis was a three-time NSCAA/Adidas Youth All-America at Orange Park High School. In 2003, he was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida and earned Florida Times-Union Player of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005.

A top 100 recruit in the 2005 NCAA Division I recruiting class, Lewis kicked off his college career by starting 21 of 22 games for St. John’s University. He was a second-team All-Big East selection and two-time Big East Rookie of the Week in addition to being named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman third team.

In 2006, he transferred to the University of North Carolina and as a senior in 2008, he helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA College Cup final in Frisco, Texas, against Maryland along with current Armada teammate Alex Dixon. Lewis finished his college career with 12 goals and five assists in 85 appearances and 73 starts.

In 2009, Lewis signed his first professional contract with the Real Maryland Monarchs in the former USL second division before moving abroad to sign with Finnish side Ekenäs Idrottsförening in October of the same year. He transferred to Finnish second division side Salon Palloilijat (SalPa) briefly before returning to Ekenäs IF. At the same time, he earned Rookie of the Year honors with Liikunnan Riemu in the Finnish Futsal Liiga, scoring 19 goals and notching 21 assists to lead the team to its first playoff berth in club history in 2013.

Lewis returned stateside in 2014, taking up the role of technical director/coach at Ponte Vedra Soccer Club, working with the boys under 10s, 11s, and 14s.

The Armada will return to action at 10 a.m. on Friday when it hosts North American Soccer League expansion side Rayo OKC at Patton Park. The friendly is free and open to the public.