The Jacksonville Armada have reportedly made a major splash with their latest head coaching hire.
Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Armada have hired former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola as the club’s head coach, with an official announcement set for Tuesday. Meola will replace Guillermo Hoyos, who was fired by the club in September.
Meola racked up 100 caps as a member of the USMNT in a career that spanned form 1988-2006. The former New York Metrostars and Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper was also a part of three World Cup rosters for the U.S.
The hiring comes on the heels of a debut season that saw the Armada finish last in the NASL Combined Standings. Off the field, the club was among the league’s best attended, finishing only behind Indy Eleven and Minnesota United in highest average attendance.
Here’s a closer look at some more of Monday’s NASL news and notes:
HEINEMANN REPORTEDLY SET FOR ROWDIES MOVE
After losing head coach Marc dos Santos to Sporting KC, Ottawa Fury FC will also apparently have to make due without its best forward option.
The Northern Pitch is reporting that forward Tom Heinemann has agreed to join the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The deal is reportedly worth around $150,000 a year, nearly twice as much as was offered by Minnesota United.
Heinemann put together his most productive professional season to date in 2015, tallying 12 goals throughout the campaign. The 28-year-old forward, who previously featured for the Columbus Crew and Vancouver Whitecaps, helped lead the way with four postseason goals in two games, but Fury FC fell to the New York Cosmos in the NASL final.
Fury FC announced last week that it has hired Paul Dalglish to replace the departing Dos Santos, who will take charge of Sporting KC’s USL affiliate, Swope Park Rangers.
RAILHAWKS ANNOUNCE FIRST ROSTER MOVES OF OFFSEASON
With 2015 now behind them, the Carolina RailHawks have begun the process of preparing for next season.
The RailHawks announced on Monday that five players remains under contract with the club: goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, as well as midfielders Tiyi Shipalane, Austin da Luz, Neil Hlavaty, and Alex Pérez.
In addition, the club has chosen not to exercise options on goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap, defender Austen King, midfielders Jack Coleman, Gabriel Da Silva, Jamie Dell, and Chris Nurse, and forwards Simone Bracalello, Mamadee Nyepon, and Bradlee Baladez.
The RailHawks finished sixth in the NASL Combined Standings and were recently purchased by local businessman Steve Malik.
What do you think of the Meola news? How will Heinemann fare with the Rowdies? What do you expect from the RailHawks next season?
Share your thoughts below.