PREVIEW | United vs. Armada FC

Minnesota United and Jacksonville Armada can move into second place in the Spring Season standings with a win
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | May 22, 2015

For each club, every match from here on out is important. With Jacksonville Armada FC standing at 10 points and United FC standing at nine points in the NASL Spring Season standings, respectively, each club controls its own destiny. If either team wins each remaining game on its schedule, it will win the NASL Spring Season title and bid to the Championship Playoff.

The New York Cosmos are in first with 15 points but still have to play both the Armada FC and United. Jacksonville and New York meet on June 13 in the final NASL Spring Season contest for each club, and a couple of scenarios exist in which it could turn out to be the de facto Spring Season Championship match. The simplest scenario would be in which both the Armada FC and Cosmos win each of their remaining NASL matches heading into the finale (three for Jacksonville, two for New York).

Although the Armada FC (3W-1D-2L) hasn’t yet won on the road, they were able to come away with a point from last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Atlanta Silverbacks and had a few opportunities to grab the win. After Jacksonville allowed a quick goal to Atlanta’s Hans Dennisen less than 30 seconds into the match, Armada FC forward Alhassane Keita answered in the 20th minute by sticking his strike on the far right post past Silverbacks goalkeeper Steward Ceus on a feed from midfielder Marcos Flores.

Jacksonville is second in the league for goals scored per match (1.7) and has averaged 1.3 goals in its three road matches.

Minnesota (2-3-1) had a late surge of offense in its 3-1 victory over Indy Eleven last Saturday in Indianapolis. Kalif Alhassan, Justin Davis, and Juliano Vicentini all ended on the United scoresheet. After Indy leveled the match at 1-1 in the 49th minute, United reclaimed the lead when Davis knocked in a rebound off a save in the 63rd minute. The Loons tacked on another goal in the 83rd minute when Vicentini connected on an open shot from a through ball by Christian Ramirez.

United has had a healthy balance of attacking and defending with eight goals scored and six goals allowed (tied for second in the league) in six games played.


Jacksonville: Keita, who is Jacksonville’s leading goalscorer and tied for second in the NASL with three, was named to the NASL Team of the Week on Wednesday. He was also named to the Team of the Week on May 6 after his game-winning goal in the Armada FC’s 2-1 victory over defending league champions, the San Antonio Scorpions, on May 2 in Jacksonville. He was also named NASL Player of the Week on May 4 for his efforts against the Scorpions. Flores is the Armada FC’s individual points leader with six (two goals, two assists) and was also named to the NASL Team of the Week on May 6. He was also named the Farah & Farah Man of the Match last Saturday against Atlanta. Starting goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, who has 38 career clean sheets, is tied for sixth in the NASL with 13 saves.

Minnesota: United is highlighted by U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Miguel Ibarra, who leads the Loons in scoring chances created with two assists and has also scored a goal. He was the 2014 NASL Golden Ball winner (Player of the Year) and was the first ever NASL player in the Modern Era to be called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team, making his debut on Oct. 14, 2014. Minnesota also boasts the NASL’s top goalscorer from 2014 (Christian Ramirez) and NASL leader in career goals scored (Pablo Campos).


  • Armada FC midfielder Lucas Rodriguez will be returning to familiar territory on Saturday. A member of United (formerly known as NSC Minnesota Stars) from 2010-13, Rodriguez made more than 60 appearances and notched seven goals in his time with the Loons and won the 2011 NASL Championship with the club.

It will be the first match the Armada FC plays outside of the South, including preseason and regular season contests. The furthest north Jacksonville has played so far has been Charleston, S.C., when it took on the Charleston Battery on Feb. 18 in a preseason friendly. Atlanta has been the Armada FC’s furthest NASL trip north.

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