JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada are the National Premier Soccer League Gulf Coast Conference champions.
The Armada claimed the title after defeating AFC Mobile 1-0 on Saturday night.
The regular-season title comes as no shock as the Armada has been lighting up the competition, winning their last 10 games. Jacksonville stayed in first place in the NPSL’s overall standings out of 95 teams across the country.
Armada head coach Tommy Krizanovic said it’s a fantastic feeling.
“The hardest thing in any league is once you find consistency, you have to maintain it,” Krizanovic said. “We’ve done that all season long, and it’s been a phenomenal feeling.”
In the 42nd minute, Armada’s Ethan Dudley would find the back of the net on a free kick, sealing the title.
The Armada’s first game of the season finished in a draw, the only time they haven’t managed to win so far.
Along the way in the winning streak, Krizanovic explained the importance of responding after the first game.
“We had to make sure our momentum shifted and to respond well,” Krizanovic said. “We set out our goals and had to make sure to accomplish them.”
From the beginning of the season, the goal was simple for the Armada — win. The players and the coaching staff knew they could go far from the start.
“Where we want to be at the end of the year is winning the national final,” Krizanovic said. “The conference championship was a good first step, but there is more to do.”
While the championship is well deserved for the Jacksonville side, the team is more focused on their full-season performance.
The Armada sits in first place overall in the NPSL and want to keep the intensity going to host multiple playoff games.
“We need to continue our form and stay atop the nation,” Krizanovic said. “We want to host multiple games in Jacksonville and bring in a crowd.”
The fans have been consistently rooting on the Armada all season. Specifically, Section 904, the Armada’s official supporters’ group, has created an atmosphere unlike any other in the league.
“Props to them. They get the entire crowd involved and are screaming for 90 minutes. That’s the environment we love to see,” Krizanovic said. “We hope they’ll be as loud when the playoffs roll around.”
The Armada will hit the road to Oak Grove, Mississippi, to play Southern States SC next Saturday in their final game of the season.