PREVIEW | Armada Close Out Season Sunday with Massive Final Showdown Against Rival Rowdies

Oct 27, 2016

Armada FC Communications | Oct. 27, 2016 

The Jacksonville Armada FC will bring its 2016 North American Soccer League season to a close on Sunday when it hosts cross-state rivals the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 4 p.m. at Community First Park presented by McDonald's.

In what has been a tumultuous season for the young club, Armada head coach Mark Lowry and his crew will look to cap off their sophomore campaign with a definitive result against Jacksonville’s closest regional adversary.  

Following the announcement earlier in the week that the Rowdies would leave to join the USL in 2017, Sunday’s match marks the final contest in league play between the two clubs. With both teams eliminated from post-season play, the matchup is sure to be an exciting season finale for both sides. 

While Tampa Bay holds an edge in all-time meetings with a 2W-2D-1L, both previous meetings between the two sides this year have ended in one-all stalemates (1-1 in Jacksonville on 6/11/16 and 1-1 in St. Petersburg on 7/2/16). It has been over four months since they have met last and neither team has ever won on enemy soil. 

In their last meeting, the Fall Season opener on July 2, goalkeeper Sean Lewis had an impressive professional debut, making clutch stop after clutch stop and finishing with a club record 10 saves. Zach Steinberger made a statement early on when he scored his first Armada goal in his first Armada match in the 12th minute. 

However, the Rowdies responded immediately when Georgi Hristov netted a goal only a minute later. The rest of the match turned into a back-and-forth affair with corresponding opportunities from both sides, but ultimately culminating in a draw. 

Tampa Bay has already captured the 2016 Coastal Cup following their 1-1 draw with Miami FC on Oct. 14. Even with an Armada win Sunday, the total points would leave Jacksonville just one shy of the Rowdies 14. 

The Armada will look to bounce back from a contentious loss in Edmonton last Sunday. A controversial penalty was awarded to Edmonton in the 7th minute of stoppage allowing the Eddies defeat Jacksonville 1-0 seconds before the final whistle blew. The loss came after a stretch of four games in 12 days a the long trip to Alberta to cap it off.

With a week to recover, Lowry will look to close out his first season at the helm with a positive result in two clubs final league meeting on the Armada’s home pitch in front of the Jacksonville faithful. 

Below is a breakdown of the teams and the matchup.

Sunday, Oct. 30 at 4:00 p.m. ET | Community First Park
Buy Tickets | Weather

Jacksonville Armada FC (4W-8D-9L, 20 pts., 12th NASL Fall, 5W-12D-14L, 27 pts., 11th NASL Combined)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (5W-8D-8L, 23 pts., 8th NASL Fall, 9W-12D-10L, 39 pts., 7th NASL Combined)

Tampa Bay leads, 2-2-1

Rowdies 1, Armada FC 1 - 7/2/16 in Tampa Bay | Recap | Video Highlights

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

- CBS Sport Network nationally– Cole Pepper – PXP, Mauricio Ruiz – Color 

- Live stream on Project 106.9 FM | Stuart Webber – PXP and Andy Kidd – Color
- Also streamed live on iHeart app

- Live Twitter updates on @ArmadaFCgameday - #JAXvTBR
Live stats on

- Under Mark Lowry, the Armada have gone 3W-6D-4L in 13 games. Lowry recorded the first two away victories in club history since taking over on Aug. 7. 

- Sunday’s match is the second season finale played against a Florida rival at Community First Park. The Armada ended its inaugural season campaign with a 1-0 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Nov. 1, 2015 in Jacksonville. 

- Neither team has ever lost a match at home in league completion over the entire series.

- Jacksonville are 3-4-7 against Florida opponents all time in NASL competition.  

- Armada are 0-0-4 in Sunday matches this season and 0-2-6 all-time. However, this weekend’s contest is the first Sunday match at home this season. 

8 – Number of yellow cards midfielder Kevan George has received this year currently leading the Armada.

58 – Number of shots forward Charles Eloundou has taken this season currently fourth in the league.  

2700 – The number of minutes that defender Tyler Ruthven has played this season. Ruthven has started all but one match against Minnesota United on Aug 20. 

- Pekka Lagerblom will be available for Sunday’s match following his recovery from a mild hamstring tear sustained during the Oct. 15 match against the New York Cosmos. The 33-year-old midfielder has made seven starts since returning with an achilles injury in the preseason.

- Forward Danny Barrow will be out of the lineup Sunday recovering from sports hernia sustained during training. 

Armada FC defender Anthony Wallace played 2,185 minutes and scored one goal in 25 starts for the Rowdies in 2014 … Wallace played one season at the University of South Florida in Tampa in 2006 ... He attended Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg for one year before entering U.S. Soccer's Residency Program in Bradenton in August 2004.

The Armada will begin its offseason training in early February. Look for the club to make announcements as Mark Lowry will begin building for 2017 in the coming weeks.