JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jack Blake, the leading goal scorer for the Armada in 2017, has been sent to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League on a season-long loan.
Blake, 23, scored nine goals, good for sixth-most in the North American Soccer League in 2017. He was named the NASL's Young Player of the Year. He remains under contract with the Armada and can rejoin the team in the future.
The move is the latest for the Armada, who announced in January that they would compete in the NPSL in the spring, as they await word from the NASL about whether the league will operate in 2018. The NASL pushed back the start of its season from April to August, after the World Cup. The club announced Wednesday that four veteran players would return to play in the NPSL season: Kalen Ryden, J.C. Banks, Ciaran Killduff and Derek Gebhard.
Blake joined the Armada FC after spending the 2016 NASL season with the Minnesota United FC, where he accumulated 695 minutes in seven starts and 11 matches for the Loons. He signed with the club in May and scored his first professional goal in his debut appearance- helping defeat St. Louis FC in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup last June.
Blake graduated from the Nottingham Forest Academy and signed his first professional contract with the senior team in May 2013. He was loaned five months later to the neighboring club, Mansfield Town. His professional debut was a 0-0 draw against Bury FC on Oct. 22, 2013. He made two more appearances for the Stags before returning to Nottingham Forest where he played until 2015.
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