PREVIEW: Boys In Blue Head North for Saturday Tilt With United FC

May 13, 2016

Armada FC Public Relations | May 6, 2016
Photo credit SE Sports Media

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada will hit the road for a showdown with top North American Soccer League side Minnesota United FC at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The Armada is coming off a full slate of games at home last week and came up short in both contests. One theme was apparent in both matches: Jacksonville created plenty of chances and looked to be the better side but just couldn't penetrate either defense.

Against FC Edmonton last Wednesday, the Armada owned possession (63-37), passing (488-276) and passing percentage (80-63), but struggled in the final third and gave up a set piece goal in a 1-0 loss. The story was nearly indentical in Jacksonville's 1-0 loss to Rayo OKC on Saturday.

The Armada took 19 shots (but only had three on goal), completed 86 percent of their 576 passes and connected on 24 percent of their whopping 42 crosses. But for some reason, it just couldn't connect. Even though Rayo OKC had just two shots on goal, the one in the 70th minute was the one that counted. Rayo OKC's Michel sent in a long cross from the left, and goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo rushed out to punch it away. But Robbie Findley beat him to it and buried the ball in the net on a header

The Loons have been riding a wave of momentum and are unbeaten in their last four contests. Minnesota played to a 2-2 draw with Ottawa Fury FC last Saturday in Ottawa. United FC struck first in the 13th minute on a Christian Ramirez goal and retook the lead at 2-1 on a Ben Speas goal in the 75th minute.

It would seemingly be all the Loons needed to wrap up another three points, but Fury FC put that to rest when Marcel De Jong knocked in a stoppage time goal to knot the score.

Below is a breakdown of the teams and the matchup.

Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET | National Sports Center Stadium
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Jacksonville Armada FC (1W-1D-3L, 4 pts., 10th NASL Spring)
Minnesota United FC (3W-1D-1L, 10 pts., 3rd NASL Spring)

Jacksonville Armada FC – Tony Meola, 1st season
Minnesota United FC – Carl Craig, 1st season

Minnesota leads, 2-1-0

Armada 3, United FC 3 - 7/31/15 in Jacksonville | Recap | Video Highlights

Armada: News | Roster | Schedule | Season Stats
United FC: News | Roster | Schedule | Season Stats

- CW17 in Jacksonville – Cole Pepper – PXP and Andy Kidd – Color
- beIN Sports nationally – Kevin Egan – PXP and Chris Wittyngham – Color

- Live on Project 106.9-FM in Jacksonville | Stuart Webber – PXP, David Hayes – Color
- Also streamed live on iHeart app or

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


- Jacksonville is averaging 57.6 percent of ball possession this year, the highest total in the NASL.

- Kevan George has already been booked for three yellow cards this season, tied with five other players for the most in the NASL.

- Jacksonville has only scored twice from inside the box this year, the lowest in the league. Minnesota has scored eight times from inside the box this year, tied for second highest in the league.

- Danny Barrow (7.5) and Charles Eloundou (6.8) are ranked third and fourth in the league,respectively, in dribbles attempted per 90 minutes played, amongst NASL players with at least 45 minutes this season.


9 – The number of yellow cards for the Armada through four matches, which is tied for the second-least in the league for bookings. Jacksonville led the league in 2015 for most yellow cards with 64 and finished with the second-most red cards (9).

69 – The number of total shots the Armada has taken this season, second-best in the NASL. Midfielder Junior Sandoval has notched 10, which is tied for fifth in the league.

25 – The number of clearances for defender Tyler Ruthven, currently tied for fifth-best in the NASL.

5 – The number of Armada players averaging more than 2.5 shots per 90 minutes played; Charles Eloundou (4.2), Junior Sandoval (3.5), Nicolas Perea (3.0), Jemal Johnson (2.8) and Pascal Millien (2.7).


There is no doubt the Armada has not had a tough time creating chances and controlling the flow of their games this season. Jacksonville leads the leads the league with 13.8 shots per game and is second-best with 54.9 percent possession, but it has not translated on the scoreboard. The Armada has the lowest shot conversion rate in the league at 5.7 percent.


The Armada will have another road tilt at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 22 at Ottawa Fury FC. The match will be shown locally on CW17 and nationally on ESPN3. It will also be aired on Project 106.9-FM in Jacksonville and on the iHeart app.