MLS and Jacksonville Product Tony Taylor Joins the Armada FC

The Panamanian striker returns to his hometown after time in Portugal and the MLS
Jul 28, 2017

The Jacksonville Armada FC continues to strengthen with the announcement of the signing of Alejandro Antonio “Tony” Taylor Jr. Friday afternoon. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“I am very excited about Tony’s future with this club,” said Armada FC Owner Robert Palmer. “Today is a great day for the Armada, we added three strong players to the roster."

Although a third player has signed with the Armada FC, the identity of the player will not be revealed until Sunday morning. The three additions mark the first changes to the Armada FC roster since the beginning of the season. Taylor will add a formidable threat in front of the net for Jacksonville, who sits in sixth place in the league for goals scored.

The 28-year-old striker will return to his hometown of Jacksonville after spending some time in Portugal and Major League Soccer.

Taylor joined the New England Revolution of the MLS in 2014 and the club won the Eastern Conference Championship and made it to the MLS Cup Final the same year. In December he became the 5th pick of New York City Football Club in the MLS expansion draft.

Taylor recorded the second goal in NYCFC history in the inaugural preseason friendly with St. Mirren. Despite suffering an injury in his first start of 2015, he continued to work with NYCFC to return to the pitch. That return did happen in January 2016 and Taylor both started and scored in the first game of the season. He went on to help NYCFC get to the MLS playoffs for the first time in history.

Although born in Long Beach, California, Taylor’s father was in the military so he grew up playing soccer both in Virginia and Jacksonville. His family permanently moved to Jacksonville in 2003. Taylor was a standout player at Bishop Kenny High School and in club soccer with JYS Soccer Club and Jacksonville Jaguars Soccer Club. After high school, he spent some time with the Central Florida Kraze before being recruited by the University of South Florida in 2007.

Taylor transferred to Jacksonville University in 2008, helping the team complete the best season in school history. The Dolphins won the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and moved on to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

“This signing speaks volumes of the commitment shown by our club to this market,” said Armada FC Technical Director Nathan Walter. “We have always spoken about having local talent being developed through our club or having the opportunity to showcase local talent within our team. With Tony, we bring in a first-class player who has experience in top leagues across the world. Now we have the opportunity to see this talent within Northeast Florida. Any young player in this area should be able to relate with Tony.”

In 2009, Taylor went international to GD Estorial Praia of the Portuguese Second Division. He spent three seasons there, including a half-season loan to Atletico Club de Portugal. With Estorial, he helped the team to win the second division Liga Orangina and gain promotion to the Portuguese First Division Liga Sagres.

Taylor then transferred to the Cypriot first division club Omonoia Nicosia and participated in the UEFA Europe League matches from 2013 to 2014 before beginning his career in the MLS. He returned to Portugual in January 2017 when he signed with first division Paços de Ferreira.

With his parents from Panama, Taylor also has appearances for both the United States and Panama national teams. He was part of the United States U20 World Cup squad participating in the 2009 U20 World Cup and the U23 Olympic Qualifying squad. In 2016, he was first called up by Panama and made his debut against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier. He has since made two more appearances for Panama in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana.