Armada FC and Jacksonville FC announce major youth soccer partnership
Clubs come together to develop pathway from youth to pros for kids in Jacksonville and beyond
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (February 3, 2015) – The Armada FC, Jacksonville's new professional soccer team, announced an innovative and exciting partnership with one of the city’s biggest youth soccer clubs, Jacksonville FC, which will see both clubs come together to establish a dynamic structure of soccer progression in Jacksonville from youth to professional level.
The wide-reaching partnership, which includes co-branding of both clubs, will see Armada FC and Jacksonville FC team up to create a continuous “player pathway” soccer structure that seeks to develop the city’s best young male soccer talent at the competitive level of the game, starting immediately with JFC’s Boys U14 DA team and the JFC U12-U18 Elite level teams feeding into the Armada’s growing soccer development program. The new elite teams will be re-titled the JFC Armada. Through the efforts of Armada FC, JFC and JFC’s strategic partners, the goal will be to identify and develop future Armada FC reserve and first team players while nurturing some of the region’s best young soccer talent.
To aid in the development of the partnership, Jacksonville FC Executive Director Eric Dade, will join the Armada FC staff as director of soccer development. Both clubs plan to work together in their pursuit of earning all age groups of the United States Soccer Federation’s Development Academy.
Commenting on the partnership which marries the fourth-largest youth soccer club in Florida to Jacksonville’s professional soccer representatives in the growing North American Soccer League, Armada FC owner Mark Frisch, said: “We are excited to announce this extensive partnership between Armada FC and one of the best youth soccer programs in the country in JFC. We are looking forward to combining our resources to develop some of our region’s best youth soccer talents and to provide a pathway from recreational youth soccer to the professional ranks through the Armada.”
JFC President, David Proehl, said: “JFC is excited to be partnering with Armada FC to help elite level boys aged 12-18 achieve their soccer goals through the USSF Developmental Academy Program. Teaming up with a professional soccer club of the standing and quality of Armada FC has been part of our strategic vision and more importantly, provides players, coaches and referees a proven pathway not offered anywhere else on the First Coast.”
Armada FC General Manager, Dario Sala, added: “We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Dade as our first director of soccer development. Eric will become an integral part of our coaching staff and brings decades of experience not only in playing and coaching soccer but also specifically in developing youth talent.
“We are excited about the possibilities that teaming up with JFC will provide in not only finding future players for the Armada reserve and first teams, but also in further developing the depth of youth learning in our region.”
In addition to his new position at Armada FC, Eric Dade will continue to serve as JFC’s Executive Director and US Development Academy Director said: “Having the opportunity for JFC to partner with Armada FC is extremely exciting. I am thrilled to be in a position to bridge the relationship between Armada FC and JFC’s youth development. Furthermore, Armada FC’s ownership, front office and soccer staff have demonstrated a passion for the game and are committed to seeing the sport grow. This in every way mirrors who JFC is and what we stand for. This partnership shows that both organizations are dedicated to having a significant impact on players, coaches and soccer enthusiasts in our community”.
Dade comes to the Armada with over 28 years’ experience in professional and youth soccer development. A college standout at Virginia Commonwealth University, he went on to play professionally in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) with the Dallas Sidekicks and Baltimore Blast before moving to the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas of Major League Soccer.
Dade has coached at all levels including the US Men’s and Women’s National Team programs at U18 and U14 level. The former JU Women’s soccer assistant coach currently serves as the Director of the US Market Training Center in Florida and the US Club Soccer PDP Director (Florida) & Id2 Staff Coach.
About Jacksonville FC
Jacksonville FC, a 501c3 Non for Profit Corporation, is the preeminent youth soccer club in Northeast Florida and is home to more team champions than any other local club. Their 38-year history of on-field success includes a dynamic recreation program thereby providing the foundation for a lifelong love of the sport. Most recently JFC has produced State, Regional, National and International champions/finalists and helped provide US National Team Camp opportunities for 6 local players.
Patton Park, the home of JFC, is a 126 acre soccer complex consisting of 15 fields and host to many national, professional and collegiate teams including Jacksonville Armada FC, US Women’s National Team, 2014 Nigerian World Cup Team, New York City FC, Cruz Azul FC and Jacksonville United FC.
Off the field, JFC has a philanthropic mission to improve the lives of children as they partner, raise funds and commit volunteer hours for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund, Downs Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, Allison Gray Broderick Foundation, Donna Foundation and providing used soccer equipment to orphanages in the Caribbean and Central America.
For any questions or inquiries on JFC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Jacksonville Armada FC
The Jacksonville Armada FC is Northeast Florida’s newest professional sports team and a member of the North American Soccer League. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada FC, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, San Antonio Scorpions FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Jacksonville Armada FC is committed to supporting youth soccer at all levels as well as all youth soccer clubs in our region and will continue to work with all clubs in addition to JFC.
For more information about the Armada FC, visit www.ArmadaFC.com. Follow the Armada FC on Twitter @ JaxArmadaFC and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JaxArmadaFC. For more information about the NASL, visit www.NASL.com. Follow the NASL on Twitter @NASLOfficial and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NASLfans. Fans can watch every game live at www.NASLlive.com.