Jacksonville Armada FC announced the signing of defenders Drew Beckie and Michael O’Sullivan today. The club has now signed five new defenders since the start of 2017.
“I want to welcome Drew and Michael in to the Armada family, these moves strengthen our identity,” Jacksonville Technical Director Nathan Walter said. “Drew has lots of experience within the NASL and has shown he can play multiple positions, while keeping a very high level of consistency to his game. Michael is a strong, powerful defender who will blossom under the direction of Mark.”
Beckie, 26, was born in Canada but grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He arrives in Jacksonville after playing in the NASL the last three years. The 6-foot-1 defender played for the Carolina Railhawks, now known as North Carolina FC, during the 2016 campaign. Beckie started 19 matches in 23 appearances last season with the club, where he racked up 1,592 minutes and tallied one assist.
The Colorado native made his NASL debut with Ottawa Fury FC in 2014 during the club’s inaugural season. Beckie started 27 games in 35 appearances and played 2,301 minutes during his two-year stint with Fury FC. In 2015, he received the NASL Humanitarian of the Year award for his efforts with Walking In Grief's Shadow (WINGS), a program that helps kids dealing with the loss of a parent.
“Drew is the total package,” Armada coach Mark Lowry said. “He is a player who will suit our style of play perfectly – a great athlete who possesses impressive technique and composure on the ball. Off the field, we have added a man of great character and another leader in the locker room.”
The Columbus Crew chose Beckie as the 28th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft after being a standout player for the University of Denver. He was named the team’s 2011 Most Valuable Player during his junior season, and recorded seven goals and six assists in four years with the team. He spent the 2013 season on the Crew’s reserve squad before moving to the NASL to play for Ottawa Fury FC.
O’Sullivan, 21, will make his NASL debut with the Armada during the 2017 campaign as a center back. The recent graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University is an Orlando native and a product of the Orlando City Development Academy.
The 6-foot-2 defender scored five goals, three of which came in his final season, and recorded one assist in 58 games played during his three seasons with PBA University. O’Sullivan led position players in minutes played in 2015 by recording 1,539 minutes in 20 appearances, and was named to the D2CCA All-South Region First Team at the end of the season.