JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Armada FC defense will be missing a prominent player after veteran Aaron Pitchkolan announced his retirement from the ranks of professional soccer.
“I've worked hard and have been incredibly fortunate in my career to travel and meet so many interesting people in the world of soccer,” said Pitchkolan. “After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to turn the page, and start writing the next chapter of my career.”
Although Pitchkolan will not be physically on the field, he will now contribute to the team from the sideline. Pitchkolan is taking his years of experience and leadership skills to join the Armada FC coaching staff as the assistant coach.
“I’ve played for several different clubs and lived in many different cities in my career, but Jacksonville and the Armada hold a special place in my heart.The opportunity to work directly with Mark Lowry is a unique experience. I've been around soccer in this country at many different levels and I believe that Mark is truly one of the finest coaches in the country. I want to help this club grow and I'm excited to see what the future holds,” said Pitchkolan.
Jacksonville Armada FC announced the signing of Pitchkolan on Feb. 7, 2017. He was named the captain of the club soon after his signing.
Pitchkolan, 34, is the longest-tenured player in the history of the North American Soccer League (NASL). In seven seasons he completed 175 NASL appearances and 14,674 minutes, with 10 goals and four assists.
“Over the course of last season, we had a lot of success with Aaron as the captain of our young team,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “He displayed his great experience as a player on the field and showed that he is a wonderful human being off the field.”
Pitchkolan’s presence anchored the Armada FC backline during the 2017 campaign. He was voted into the NASL Team of the Week in back-to-back weeks in April. The defender also claimed a NASL Team of the Month spot for the month of April.
“After spending a full season playing in our system, Aaron has first-hand knowledge of how we want the game to be played, which is invaluable,” said Lowry. “He is someone I trust, and having him as the assistant coach moving forward is a very natural progression and one I am very excited about.”
Prior to joining the Armada FC, Pitchkolan spent five seasons in the MLS with FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes. After playing with the Rochester Rhinos in 2010, he began his career within the NASL. After playing with the Puerto Rico Islanders and San Antonio Scorpions for a season each, he played four seasons with Minnesota United FC
Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.