PREVIEW: Armada Opens NASL Home Schedule with Coastal Cup Battle on Friday

Apr 14, 2016

Armada FC Public Relations | April 14, 2016

Armada Match Notes
Miami FC Match Notes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The long wait for the North American Soccer League regular season to return to Jacksonville will end at 7 p.m. on Friday night when the Jacksonville Armada hosts expansion side Miami FC at Community First Park in a Coastal Cup battle.

Jacksonville is coming off a tough 2-0 season-opening loss at the NASL defending champions New York Cosmos last Sunday despite looking like the better squad in the first 29 minutes. A Jairo Arrieta goal off a Juan Arango assist turned the tide, however, in the 29th minute to give the home side momentum. The Cosmos went on to add an extra cushion in the 55th minute when midfielder Adam Moffat found the back of the net.

The Armada was not able to capitalize on its 10-0 advantage in corner kick opportunities and held a 68.2-31.8 percentage advantage in aerial duels.

Miami FC has gotten off to a solid start, tallying two straight draws with the most recent result coming the form of a 1-1 knot with in-state foes, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, last Saturday in Miami's home opener. Miami FC took the lead on a 17th minute Dario Cvitanich goal but was not able to retake it after an 85th minute score from Tampa Bay's Georgi Hristov.

Miami drew 1-1 with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on April 2 in a similar storyline where it lost the lead on a late goal.

If the Armada can put three points on the board Friday night, it can not only move up to the middle of the table but also move to the top of the Coastal Cup standings. Miami FC currently leads the standings with two points.

2016 Coastal Cup Standings

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
Miami FC 2 2 0 2 0 2 2 0
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
Jacksonville Armada FC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Below is a breakdown of each team and the match.

Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET | Community First Park
Buy Tickets | Weather

Jacksonville Armada FC – Tony Meola, 1st season
MIami FC – Alessandro Nesta, 1st season

Jacksonville Armada FC (0W-0D-1L, 0 pts., 11th NASL Spring)
MIami FC (0W-2D-0L, 2 pts., 4th NASL Spring)

First official meeting (Armada won 2-1 on 3/9/16 in preseason)

Armada 2, Miami FC 1 - 3/9/16 in Miami Gardens, Fla. | Recap

Armada FC: News | Roster | Schedule
Miami FC: News | Roster | Schedule

- CW17 in Jacksonville – Cole Pepper – PXP, Mauricio Ruiz – Color and Ashlea Bullington – Sideline 
- beIN Sports nationally – Andres Cordero – PXP and Matteo Bonetti – Color

- Live on Project 106.9-FM | Stuart Webber – PXP, Bob Veal – Color and Ashlea Bullington – Sideline 
- Also streamed live on iHeart app or

- Live Twitter updates on @ArmadaFCgameday – #JAXvMIA
- Live stats on

Compare last season's Armada squad with this year's both in roster makeup and style of play, and it would be safe to say that it is a whole new fleet. In addition to a coaching staff overhaul, now led by Meola, the Armada has brought on 14 new faces to fit with a more direct and physical American style of play in contrast to the finesse, Tiki Taka style of the 2015 Armada.

F Danny Barrow (Braunton, England/Truro City FC)
D Bryan Burke (Newport Beach, Calif./Louisville City FC)
F Alex Dixon (Humble, Texas/Rochester Rhinos)
F Charles Eloundou (Yaoundé, Cameroon/Colorado Rapids)
F Matt Fondy (Foster City, Calif./Louisville City FC)
MF Kevan George (Roxborough, Trinidad & Tobago/Columbus Crew)
MF Pekka Lagerblom (Lahti, Finland/FC Lahti)
MF Garry Lewis (Orange Park, Fla./Likunnan Riemu)
GK Sean Lewis (Rockford, Mich./Olympia FC)
D Beto Navarro (Delano, Calif./Orange County Blues)
D Patrick Otte (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Ventura County Fusion)
D Tyler Ruthven (Alpharetta, Ga./Arizona United SC)
MF Richie Ryan (Tipperary, Ireland/Ottawa Fury FC)
MF Junior Sandoval (Quimistán, Honduras/Jaguares de Córdoba)

Miami FC goalkeeper Lionel Brown and Armada defender Shawn Nicklaw were teammates at the University of Connecticut from 2009-10 ... Miami FC goalkeeper David Sierra was on the Armada roster in 2015, finishing with a 3-1-4 record, three shutouts, 29 saves and 1.38 GAA ... Miami FC defender Rhett Bernstein and Nicklaw both played with the prestigious San Diego Nomads youth club growing up and frequently train together in the offseason in San Diego ... Miami FC defender Jonathan Borrajo and Armada midfielder Garry Lewis played together for USL side Real Maryland Monarchs in 2009 ... Miami FC midfielder Dane Richards, Borrajo and Armada defender Tyler Ruthven both played on MLS side New York Red Bulls in 2012 ... Miami FC defender Joe Franco and Armada forward Matt Fondy were both on former MLS side Chivas USA in 2013 ... Miami FC defender Brad Rusin and Nicklaw were teammates on Danish side HB Koge in 2012 ... Rusin and Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo were teammates on Orlando City SC (then USL) in 2014 ... Miami FC defender Mason Trafford and Armada midfielder Richie Ryan were teammates on NASL side Ottawa Fury FC in 2014 and 2015 ... Miami FC forward Jaime Chavez and Armada defender Beto Navarro were teammates on former NASL side Atlanta Silverbacks in 2014 ... Miami FC forward Aaron Dennis and Ruthven were teammates on USL side Arizona United SC in 2015.

The Armada will hit the road for another Coastal Cup battle against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 at Lockhart Stadium.