PREVIEW | Armada FC Aims To Continue Strong Home Form Against The Rowdies

Jacksonville has lost only once in its inaugural campaign at home
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | Sep 25, 2015

In a special night, where the Jacksonville Armada FC will honor Northeast Florida’s great soccer past and rich Hispanic heritage at Community First Park, the team will try to put the icing on the cake a win over in-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, at 7:30 p.m. ET this Saturday.

In a tribute to the NASL Golden Era team, the Jacksonville Tea Men, the Armada FC will don the Tea Men’s signature red and tangerine kits. Former Tea Men owner Ingo Krieg will raise the Armada FC flag prior to the match, and former players, staff, and administrators will be honored in a pre-match ceremony. The Armada FC will also pay tribute to the First Coast’s rich Hispanic heritage throughout the night.

Armada FC interim head coach Eric Dade will lead his squad into battle for the first time. Jacksonville will seek to end its 498-minute scoring drought and extend its six-game home NASL unbeaten streak. The Armada FC is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Strikers at Fort Lauderdale last Wednesday. Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo finished with six saves, while defender Fabricio Ortiz had an impressive defensive showing.

Tampa Bay head coach Stuart Campbell, who himself took over his team midseason, has led the Rowdies to a 2W-1D-2L record since taking the reins following the dismissal of Thomas Rongen on Aug. 21. The Rowdies are coming off a 2-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions last Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla., to move into fourth place in the Combined Standings and put themselves back into The Championship, the NASL’s four-team postseason tournament, race. Corey Hertzog put Tampa Bay on the board with a goal in the 50th minute, while Juan Guerra added an insurance strike in the 88th minute.

Saturday’s matchup between the Sunshine State foes will be the first regular-season meeting in Jacksonville, with the Rowdies coming out victorious in the previous two affairs in St. Petersburg with a score of 3-2 on both April 25 and Aug. 8. In the Armada FC’s final preseason tilt, they fell, 2-0, to the Rowdies at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. 

With a new head coach leading Jacksonville into battle, the Armada FC has a sense of new life. Although it might seem like an uphill battle for the Armada FC to claim a spot in The Championship with seven games remaining, they have not yet been eliminated and will play five of their remaining fixtures at home, where they have lost just once this season.


Jacksonville: For the first time in a very long time, the Armada FC will have all of their regular starters available. Perhaps of even more note, it will be the first time since May 16 that the attacking quartet of Marcos Flores, Jemal Johnson, Alhassane Keita, and Pascal Millien could be in the same starting lineup. That group helped lead the Armada to a 2-1-1 record in May, with wins over San Antonio (2-1) and Indy Eleven (1-0).

Tampa Bay: Maicon Santos has given the Armada FC fits this season, perhaps more so than any other NASL player. Santos has scored four of his seven goals against Jacksonville, notching two in each of Tampa Bay’s previous wins over the Armada FC. His goal total leads the Rowdies and is tied for fourth most in the league. Santos has also tallied two assists.


  • Both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are the only clubs to have defeated Spring Season Champion New York Cosmos in NASL play this season.
  • With the previous incarnation of the Rowdies also being a Golden Era club, Saturday’s match will have a very nostalgic look to it. The Tea Men and Rowdies clashed with each other at least 20 times from 1978-82, with Tampa Bay holding a 12-8 series advantage.
  • Saturday night’s match is the first home contest for the Armada FC in nearly a month. Jacksonville played to a scoreless draw with San Antonio in its last action at Community First Park on Aug. 29. The Armada FC is 6-3-1 at home this season.
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