JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first place Jacksonville Armada are back home to host the expansion San Francisco Deltas, the second team in the NASL standings, on Saturday at Hodges Stadium on the UNF campus at 7 p.m.
Jacksonville has won both matches this season, both by 1-0 scores against FC Edmonton, one match at home, the other on the road. San Francisco is coming off its first league win, coming from behind to beat North Carolina FC 3-1 last Saturday at home.
The key for the Armada so far this year has been the building team chemistry. With a roster stripped down from 29 players a year ago, to 20 this year, cohesion has been essential.
“It’s one of the best locker rooms I’ve been in since I’ve played soccer,” midfielder Zach Steinberger said. “You can’t put enough emphasis on team camaraderie and the high level of quality of people you surround yourself with day in and day out. It makes just as much of a difference as the quality of the player.”
Steinberger scored the game winner in Edmonton last Saturday night. He has been a standout player for the club since joining on loan midway through last season.
Head coach Mark Lowry took over as head coach for the final 14 matches of 2016. Since he took the reins, the Armada have lost just four times in 16 matches.
“I’m a big believer that you have to stick to your principles,” Lowry said. “Our principles are trying to play, trying to pass the ball, and trying to build out from the back. Edmonton made it very tough for us to do that but we stuck to it. If you stick to your principles, you get the reward.”
The match will be broadcast on THIS TV channel 4.2, Comcast 231. Tickets are available online at armadafc.com.