After year off due to pandemic, Armada ready to resume with Tommy Krizanovic at helm

Tommy Krizanovic, named head coach of the Armada U-23 team in 2021. (Jacksonville Armada FC, 2021)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After going from the second-highest league in the country, to a 4th division league, to no season because of the pandemic, the Armada looks to turn things around as they prepare for a season in the NPSL under former Armada FC player Tommy Krizanovic.

Krizanovic was a star for Jacksonville University and was selected in the MLS Super Draft by FC Dallas. As a member of the Armada, his most memorable moment came in 2015 when he scored a game-winning goal against the New York Cosmos.

Now, with a team of college players and internationals who will comprise the Armada’s U-23 team, Krizanovic, who has also coached with Jacksonville FC is hopeful that 2021 will provide a more normal year.

“The last six, seven months, you kind of maneuver under restrictions or different protocols that are put in place by the different organization or by different states,” Krizanovic said. “But it’s getting better, and it’s being more stable. And surely, for us now, it’s getting a little bit busier as we’re about to kick off the season.”

The Armada will open the season on May 1 at Tallahassee FC in the Gulf Coast division of the NPSL. The first home match is scheduled for May 8 against Hattiesburg, MS-based Southern States SC. You can see the entire schedule here.

Krizanovic said that half of the players on the roster are the same players who would have played last year if not for the pandemic. But many of the international players will have a short period of time to get up to speed before the season begins.

“Working remotely was was one of the things that allowed us to be a little more organized,” Krizanovic said. “We’re going to do things that we didn’t maybe have in place before, that we do now; logistically operationally. It has really just allowed us to be more prepared now this season.”

What does the future hold for the Armada? There’s no way to predict at this point, given the uncertainties that they have faced in the past.

“The important piece of it, to have the U-23s to stay connected with, not just the community, but also the players that are from within this community. Also players that come from outside of the community to find a way to keep them engaged here,” Krizanovic said. “(Club president) Nathan (Walter) and (team owner) Robert Palmer are working really hard on getting the professional soccer back to Jacksonville. Once that happens, we’ll already be in a very good place set up to be successful.”

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.