New ownership to take over Jacksonville Armada

The Jacksonville Armada will take the field next season, but it likely won’t be under the same ownership.

Founding owner Mark Frisch says he is in talks with the North American Soccer League, who is the “prospective buyer” for the team. Frisch declined to give details of the deal, except to say that the league is committed to keeping the Armada in Jacksonville.

The letter to “friends, fans, sponsors and supporters of the Armada” comes a day after the United State Soccer Federation announced the NASL would retain provisional second-division status for 2017. Frisch called this “great news”, and says he is working during this transition period to make sure the team is put “in good hands.”

The NASL issued a statement saying eight soccer clubs will compete in the NASL in 2017, including the Armada.

Frisch spearheaded the effort to bring professional soccer to Jacksonville, and in 2013 the City was awarded the 12th NASL club. Their inaugural season started Spring 2015, and initially ticket sales were high.

The crowds thinned in to the team’s second season, however, as the club struggled to string together wins and cycled through several coaches. In December, the team parted ways with five players, including goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, who was the first player ever who signed with the club.

Soon after the letter was posted online, Section 904- which is the Armada supporters group- thanked Frisch for bringing professional soccer to Jacksonville, and Frisch responded by sending his love.