PREVIEW | Armada FC Visits The Scorpions Hoping To Extend Winning Streak

Jacksonville has won its last two games and will want to continue its recent run of form in San Antonio
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | Aug 21, 2015

The Jacksonville Armada FC will take its two-match winning streak to San Antonio this weekend for an 8:30 p.m. ET showdown on Saturday against the Scorpions at Toyota Field.

Currently with the longest winning streak in the North American Soccer League, the Armada FC got an optimal balance between furious attack and stout defense in their wins over the Carolina RailHawks (3-0) and Atlanta Silverbacks (1-0) on August 12 and 15 in Jacksonville, respectively. Midfielder Jaime Castrillón scored goals in both games en route to being named NASL Player of the Week on Monday. He was also named to the NASL Team of the Week on Wednesday along with goalkeeper David Sierra and defender Fabricio Ortiz.

San Antonio is coming off a 2-1 loss to the New York Cosmos last Saturday in New York. Despite getting on the scoreboard first with a Milton Palacios goal in first-half stoppage time, the Cosmos knotted the score in stoppage time on a Leo Fernandes strike. New York took the lead for good in the 48th minute when Scorpions defender Brad Rusin had a free kick ricochet off him and into the back of the net for an own goal.

The Armada FC and Scorpions previously squared off in Jacksonville on May 2 in a match that looked destined for a draw, but some late-match heroics by Akeil Barrett, Alhassane Keita, and Miguel Gallardo lifted Jacksonville to a 2-1 win. After a goal in the fourth minute by Pascal Millien off a Marcos Flores assist, San Antonio forward Omar Cummings hit the equalizer in the eighth minute with an eye-popping scissor kick.

Although there were a few near goals for each team after that, the climax came in the third minute of second-half stoppage time when Barrett, who subbed on in the 83rd minute, started a breakaway at midfield, juked San Antonio's Joseph Nane and fed a picture-perfect through ball to Keita, who rolled it past Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler to take a 2-1 lead. Gallardo preserved the lead with a couple of key stops in the 95th minute.

With the Armada FC sitting just four points out of fourth place behind the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Combined Standings, another three points would be a major boost to Jacksonville's NASL playoff push. It will also be a chance for the Armada FC to say goodbye to their road woes as they have not yet won away from home in 2015.

For San Antonio, three points represents an opportunity to escape from the bottom of the Fall Season Standings. The 2014 league champion has won just twice in its last nine contests and is winless in its last five fixtures.


Jacksonville: With Castrillón starting to regain his form from his Rapids days, the added firepower can only boost the potent front line of Jemal Johnson, Keita and Millien, who have combined for 15 goals this season, tying them for third in the NASL for most goals among top three scorers with Minnesota United (Christian Ramirez, Pablo Campos and Ibson) and the RailHawks (Nacho Novo, Neil Hlavaty and Tiyi Shipalane). Johnson, who had been riddled with injuries the past couple of years, has found new life in Jacksonville and has already tied his career high for league goals scored in a season with five. He previously scored five goals with English League One side MK Dons in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

San Antonio: While completely shutting down Cummings, who has an NASL-leading 10 goals to his credit, might be out of the question, containing him will be a priority for the Armada FC. In order to do that, Jacksonville will need to focus on stopping the ball from getting to Cummings, which could be achieved by stifling leading-assist man Billy Forbes (6).


  • Gallardo, who played with the original Austin Aztex from 2008-10 and defunct PDL club Austin Lightning from 2003-07 and grew up as a teen in the area, is expected to have around 10 friends and family members in attendance, including his father.
  • Although the Armada FC have struggled to score on the road with a 0.5 average, San Antonio has allowed an average of two goals at home.
  • Johnson is the only player on the squad to have played every league game, making 18 starts. He also leads the team in minutes played with 1,510.
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