PREVIEW | Armada FC Heads To Carolina For First Time Seeking First Road Win

Jacksonville's strong home form has yet to translate on the road, but interim boss Eric Dade leads the team away from home for first time
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | Oct 9, 2015

The Jacksonville Armada FC’s quest for a spot in the NASL postseason continues at 7:30 p.m. ET this Saturday in Cary, N.C., as the Armada FC travel to face the Carolina RailHawks.

Jacksonville is coming off a 1-1 draw with Indy Eleven last Saturday at Community First Park in a gut-wrenching result. The Armada FC held a 1-0 lead and momentum for the majority of the game until things shifted in favor of Indy Eleven in the 63rd minute. In a bit of a scuffle with Indy Eleven forward Wojcieck Wojcik, Armada FC defender Mechack Jérôme was caught retaliating when he kicked Wojick on the ground and was shown a red card.

Despite playing a man down, the Armada FC held tough until the 83rd minute when Eleven striker Brian Brown connected on a volley from Wojcik for the equalizer. Then just seconds later, it looked like the Armada FC would take back the lead when forward Akeil Barrett snuck in a left-footed shot inside the right post, but it was called off on due to a handball.

Carolina was off last weekend and last fell, 3-1, to league-leading Ottawa Fury FC, at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sept. 26 in a downpour. The RailHawks’ Nacho Novo, who will not be eligible to play against the Armada FC due to a red card suspension, scored Carolina’s lone goal in the loss.

Saturday will be the first meeting at Carolina between the teams. The RailHawks beat the Armada FC, 4-0, on May 30 in Jacksonville’s only home defeat of the season, and the Armada FC countered with a shutout of their own on Aug. 12, winning, 3-0. Jaime Castrillon, Barrett, and Jemal Johnson scored for the Armada FC in the win.

The Armada FC is still alive in the Combined Standings, but it is vital they get a positive result in its remaining five games. With 27 points to its credit in the NASL Combined Standings, the Armada FC is seven points behind three teams – the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and FC Edmonton – for the fourth and final postseason spot. Jacksonville could possibly get in with as little as 35 points, but it would have to get a lot of help. Ideally, the Armada FC needs to get at least four wins and a draw in their remaining five contests to finish with 40 points.


Jacksonville: With three starters out for this contest due to international duty – Mechack Jérôme (Haiti), Pascal Millien (Haiti), and Shawn Nicklaw (Guam) – the focus will be on what adjustments interim head coach Eric Dade makes, particularly on the back line. Fabricio Ortiz, who had started in 21 games before Jerome was acquired, would be a good bet to slide back into the right center back role. And Matt Bahner has the ability to play on the outside, starting at right back in eight games this season. To solve the left back question, Lucas Trejo could slide back to the inside, where he has played for the majority this season, while either Joseph Toby or Lucas Rodriguez could fill in on the outside.

Carolina: The RailHawks will have to make an adjustment of their own with the inconvenience of not having their leading goalscorer Novo. Novo, who has nine goals, was shown a red card in the 90th minute of their match against Ottawa on Sept. 26. The pressure to lead the attack could shift to the shoulders of midfielder Tiyi Shipalane, who leads the team with eight assists and is second with five goals scored.


  • Although the Armada FC still has not won on the road on this season, it could be a new day. It will be the first match away from Jacksonville for interim head coach Eric Dade.
  • The Armada FC will need to get out to a fast start on Saturday to increase their odds of winning. Jacksonville is 7-2-0 this season when scoring first but has not won when its opponent finds the back of the net first (0-2-12). The Armada is also 5-2-1 when leading at halftime.
  • With Jérôme, Millien, and Nicklaw off representing their nations, it will mark the fourth time this year Armada FC players have been called in to international duty.
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