by DAVE MARTINEZ
The Jacksonville Armada continue stacking their roster with talent — and their most recent signing will certainly ring a bell for New York Red Bulls fans.
Former Red Bull and Arizona United defender Tyler Ruthven has signed with the Armada.
“I had the chance to watch Tyler a few years back at the New York Red Bulls and was impressed with his ability,” said Tony Meola, Armada FC head coach and technical director. “When we had the opportunity to add him to the roster, we did so without hesitation.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ruthven, 27, first gained notoriety with the Red Bulls as an emergency centerback option in 2012. There, he filled in for the enigmatic Rafa Marquez and an injured Wilman Conde, leading the Red Bulls backline in a franchise-best five match winning streak. From there, Ruthven traveled to Swedish side IK Brage, then KuPS of Finland before moving on to Arizona United of the USL.
Ruthven comes to Jacksonville after two active seasons in Arizona, where he appeared in 46 matches, tallying a goal and assist in that time. Meola hopes that experience has molded Ruthven into a starting caliber centerback for his defensively challenged side.
“I expect Tyler to compete for a starting center back position in 2016,” Meola said.