PREVIEW | Armada FC vs. Scorpions

Jacksonville Armada FC hosts the San Antonio Scorpions in the first NASL league match at Community First Park on Saturday
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | May 1, 2015

When Jacksonville Armada FC hosts the San Antonio Scorpions, it is a crucial match for both sides. The Armada FC currently stands at ninth place and the Scorpions stand at 11th place in the NASL Spring Season standings, respectively.

Despite being tied for second in the league with six goals scored and leading the league with two goals scored per match, the Armada FC has exhibited a difficulty in finishing strong on defense. as both losses were the result of second-half goals by the opponent. In their 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Saturday, the Armada FC took a 2-1 lead into halftime on a rebound goal by Marcos Flores off a penalty kick attempt and a chip-in from Jemal Johnson that struck the upper right post and trickled in. Although the Armada FC seemingly had all of the momentum, the Rowdies took advantage of breakdowns in Jacksonville's back line and notched goals in the 59th and 77th minutes.

With a win over San Antonio, Jacksonville could potentially jump to as high as a tie for fifth in the standings. The Armada FC is currently five points behind the first-place New York Cosmos.

The Scorpions could play their way into a tie for seventh with a win over the Armada FC. San Antonio will be playing its second-straight road match after drawing 2-2 with Minnesota United last Saturday. The club made a move on Wednesday to help shake up its lineup, trading midfielder Richard Menjivar to Tampa Bay for defender Brad Rusin. The addition of the physical, 6-foot-4 center back should help bolster a defense that is tied with Ottawa Fury FC for the most goals allowed this season (seven).


Jacksonville: Both Flores and Johnson are the Armada FC's leading goal scorers with two each. Johnson, who was named the club's Farah & Farah Man of the Match last Saturday, has been dangerous on the attack so far this season with several scoring opportunities. And with Jacksonville's new 3-4-3 formation last week against the Rowdies, Flores flourished as an attacking midfielder while also allowing Alhassane Keita to post up at his natural center forward spot and getting an extra fleet-footed forward, Pascal Millien, onto the pitch on the right wing.

San Antonio: Scorpions midfielder Zourab Tsiskaridze was named to the NASL Team of the Week on Wednesday in recognition of his jaw-dropping 60-yard free-kick goal against Minnesota United last Saturday. San Antonio's top scorer so far is forward Omar Cummings, who netted strikes against Indy Eleven (April 18) and Tampa Bay (April 4).  


  • Saturday's contest will be the Armada FC's first regular season fixture at their home pitch, Community First Park. It is also the first regular season soccer match ever to be played at Community First Park. In the preseason, the Armada FC went 1-1 at Community First Park with a 1-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Feb. 28 and a 2-0 loss to the USL's Charleston Battery on March 8.
  • Both clubs have lost to their only common opponent in the regular season, the Rowdies. The Scorpions dropped a 3-1 contest on April 4 in San Antonio.
  • Three matches into the Spring Season, 17 of 24 players on the Armada FC roster have seen action. Players who have not yet seen the pitch are defenders Jordan Gafa, Ramak Safi and Joseph Toby, midfielder Nico Zaldana, backup goalkeepers David Sierra and Sebastian Evers and forward Tyler Williams.
  • Even though it is the Armada FC's first meeting with the Scorpions, Johnson, Gafa, and midfielder Lucas Rodriguez have previously faced San Antonio. The group holds a combined 2W-2D-4L regular season record against the Scorpions, which Rodriguez owning the only winning record against San Antonio (1W-2D-0L).
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