NASL Notes: Jacksonville Knock Off Orlando City, Indy Signs Scorpions Veteran, more

IMAGE, ARMADAFC.COM

by JAKE NUTTING

Jacksonville gave their supporters something to crow about this past weekend as they dispatched Florida’s only MLS side, Orlando City SC, 2-1. Brazilian star Kaka gave Orlando a first half lead with a free kick strike, but Armada FC roared back in the second half thanks to their own free kick strike from Mechack Jérôme and a long range effort by Alhassane Keita.

Armada FC also made it official with two trialists late last week, signing defender Patrick Otte and keeper Sean Lewis to contracts.

Otte, 24, has been out of the professional ranks for the past several years. His last stop was with the Ventura County Fusion in the PDL in 2013. Before that, he was with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, though an ACL injury sidelined him for much of that time. Altogether, he made 12 appearances and scored one goal for the Strikers.

Lewis, 23, also spent time in the PDL, playing for the Panama City Pirates in 2014. The young keeper moved abroad last year, joining the Olympia FC Warriors for a championship season in the Tasmanian Victory League.

FC Edmonton

FC Edmonton didn’t have to go far to find their newest midfielder. 18-year-old Edmonton native Shamit Shome has signed with the club after coming up through its academy system. Shome played at the University of Alberta last year and also earned a call up to the Canadian U-20 squad for a pair of matches in November.

Minnesota United FC

Minnesota added another attacker to its already intimidating offensive lineup with the signing of Ben Speas. The 25-year-old forward has championship experience from his days in college, having been a member of the University of Akron team that won the NCAA title in 2010 and then won the title again the following year at the University of North Carolina.

Speas joins the Loons after spending his entire professional career with the Columbus Crew in MLS. He signed a homegrown contract the Crew in 2012 and made 41 appearances and notched two goals for the club over the course of four seasons.

Indy Eleven

Head coach Tim Hankinson tapped a familiar face in Stephen Deroux for his most recent back line addition. The 32-year-old left back played for Hankinson in San Antonio back in 2013, a season that ultimately saw the coach get the axe. Deroux finished his three-year stint with the Scorpions as the club’s all-time leader in appearances (74) and minutes (6,234).

Prior to moving to San Antonio, Deroux made stops in both MLS and the USL. He made his professional debut with D.C. United and made 10 appearances for the MLS side over three seasons. The defender then moved down to the USL to play for the Minnesota Thunder and Montreal Impact. He got his first taste of the NASL while playing for Puerto Rico Islanders in their final season.

Ottawa Fury FC

Fury FC will be getting a visual makeover to go along with the changes to the technical staff and roster that have already happened this offseason. The 2015 Fall Season champions will be switching to Adidas manufactured kits in 2016 after donning Admiral gear in their first two seasons. The multi-year agreement will also see the iconic apparel manufacturer handle the team’s fan apparel. Adidas has long been the kit provider for the league’s other Canadian side, FC Edmonton.