Jacksonville Armada FC began the Fall Season with a 1-1 draw with San Francisco Deltas
The Dawn of a new ERA in Jacksonville Florida began with Thunderstorms and Rain and the Field at Hodges Stadium was Flooded. But living in Jacksonville, you know that if you give it a bit, what was Rain becomes Sunshine and Happiness, and by 6pm. the Sun was out. And Jacksonville Got to meet the New ARMADA FC!
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Not only was todays game the first of the 2017 Fall Season in the North American Soccer League, but it marked the Beginning of Robert Palmer’s ownership of the Armada. Palmer, well know for his Rp Funding Commercials bought the team early last week.
Armada FC goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell started off a great defensive effort as he swatted the ball away once, but it was still in striking distance of a goal. He extended his entire frame to hit the ball over the bar, stopping the promising shot from the Deltas.
Soon after, Jackson of the Deltas sprinted ahead of the pack up the field and kicked the ball right into the box, but it stopped short of a goal. Tom Heinemann was in the box, and tried to tap the ball in but missed and the Armada FC was able to clear what could have given San Francisco an early lead.
Derek Gebhard gave the Armada FC a promising play, as he dueled with defenders and was able to get a good look at the goal. Gebhard kicked the ball just high of the goal, but was hit hard by Jackson, who subsequently received a yellow card.
J.C. Banks launched a shot on goal during the 32nd minute. Charles Eloundou set the midfielder up for a promising kick, but the shot went just high of the goal.
With momentum on their side, the Armada FC’s Gebhard was able to break away from his defender but was fouled. He received a penalty kick for Jacksonville as the crowd cheered.
Jack Blake stepped up to take the penalty kick in the 35th minute and nailed the first goal of the Robert Palmer era. The midfielder launched the ball into the right side of the net beating out San Francisco’s goalkeeper, Romuald Peiser, and giving the Armada FC a 1-0 lead.
Patterson-Sewell made a clutch save in the 43rd minute as he punched the ball away from the goal. About a minute later he showed off his defensive powers again as he knocked another shot on goal just over the crossbar solidifying the Armada’s 1-0 lead late in the first half.
The Armada FC had two close attempts during first half stoppage time. Gebhard sprinted in front of his defender and created space just outside of the box. He kicked the ball within striking distance, but no one was there to put the ball into the net.
Minutes later Blake tried once more for a goal too and headed the ball, but it went just outside of the net.
The Armada FC went into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead over the Deltas.
Jacksonville came out of the break with high energy. Eloundou and Banks were both able to take nice shots, but Peiser blocked both of the efforts.
The Deltas did not give up and during the 58th minute Danny Cruz was able to equalize the score at one.
Patterson-Sewell made another great save after an Armada FC miscommunication almost resulted in a goal. The goalkeeper roared with pride after he made a spectacular and pivotal play during the 67th minute to keep the Deltas from gaining more ground. Lowry said he had never seen Patterson-Sewell make so many saves.
“It was a matter of trying [and] …hoping for the best. You train for that kind of stuff when the time is right there is no time to think about it you just have to [rely] on your training. I was fortunate to keep it out,” said Patterson-Sewell.
Gebhard displayed his speed when he sprinted up the field attempting a shot on goal, but the ball went just wide left leaving the score knotted at one.
Blake continued the Armada FC’s momentum as he took another shot on goal in the 84th minute, but the Delta’s goalkeeper saved the ball.
Heinemann put the ball into the net during the 90th minute, but the goal was waved off and did not count.
The teams ended the game at 1-1, resulting in a draw. Even though the team did not pull out the win, they are still looking to improve throughout the season.
“It’s not the worst start. We got the draw, but hopefully we can bounce back and get the win next week,” said Jack Blake.
The teams ended the game at 1-1, resulting in a draw. The Armada FC will head south and travel to Puerto Rico. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 5.