The Armada came into Saturday night’s match with a little bit of momentum after defeating the Railhawks 3-0 on Wednesday night. It was their third match in eight days, but the effect was mostly neutralized by two of the three being played in Jacksonville. The Armada controlled the match and won what could be their final match against an Atlanta-based NASL team 1-0.
The match was a pretty drab affair, but the Armada came away with three much-needed points on the back of a real poacher’s effort from Jaime Castrillon (41st minute). Jacksonville controlled the tempo and the pressure and held the Silverbacks to just two shots on goal all night.
The win moves the Armada to seventh place during the Fall Season, nine points off Ottawa, the current leaders. The Silverbacks sit second with fourteen points, but the Armada have a game in hand. So while morale was low during the team’s winless streak, it turns out that the team is not that bad off. The Armada sit in seventh place in the combined table as well, just four points out of the top four that would most likely land them in the playoffs.
Here are a few things of note from tonight’s match:
Pascal Millien Was Everywhere: The heat was intense, and the humidity only made things worse. But Pascal Millien was in top gear for the entire night. He was constantly harassing Silverbacks players when they were in possession, and was relentless in the attack. He didn’t get on the score sheet, but he drove the tempo and bossed the pitch, earning the Flagship Footy Man of the Match in the process.
David Sierra Just Keeps It Clean: In three of his last four matches, the Armada have allowed exactly zero goals. With two matches against the Scorpions upcoming, the possibility of his streak continuing is fairly high, if he plays. It seems as if he has won the #1 spot from Miguel Gallardo, but Guillermo Hoyos is a bit of a wildcard, so we’ll find out for sure next weekend.
Akeil Barrett = Marcos Flores: Marcos Flores posted on Instagram that he was cleared to play again, so he’ll probably return to his starting role in the advanced midfield. But it really should be stated that there is little no drop off in production or talent when Akeil Barrett is in that position instead. Marcos has missed the last several weeks with a hamstring injury, and Barrett has come in and flourished. It could be legitimately argued that he has even been better than Flores, but Marcos is the preferred player. Fear not, Akeil will get his chance to shine in a full-tim starting role.