NASL: Hall of Fame Goalkeeper Meola Named Armada Head Coach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Armada FC owner and CEO Mark Frisch announced on Tuesday the hiring of legendary former U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS goalkeeper Tony Meola as the club’s new head coach and technical director.

Meola, who was inducted in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012, takes over an Armada FC club that finished 8-7-15 (W-D-L) overall in its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, good for an 11th-place combined finish.

“In speaking with Tony, it became clear he knows what it will take for our team to become an elite competitor in the NASL and U.S. Open Cup,” Frisch said. “His vision and approach to style of play align perfectly with mine. Tony is a great student of the game and has played at a very high level.”

Meola has been a prominent figure in U.S. Soccer since he stormed onto the scene in 1987 when he helped lead the U-20 National Team at the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in goal.

 Following a two-year college career at the University of Virginia, where he was a two-time All-American under the guidance of U.S. Soccer icon Bruce Arena, Meola embarked on an illustrious international career in 1988 with the U.S. Men’s National Team. 

The Kearny, N.J., native earned 100 caps for the USMNT, which is tied for 14th all-time overall and third among goalkeepers, and was on the squad for the 1990, 1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cups. His 37 wins and 32 clean sheets rank third all-time in U.S. Soccer history.

Meola will assume his role immediately and begin preseason training with players in January. The Armada’s first scheduled preseason friendly is in February with MLS’ Philadelphia Union at Community First Park.

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