Jacksonville’s professional soccer team, The Armada, announced Jose Luis Villarreal as its head coach for its inaugural 2015 season.
The Armada is the 13th team in the North American Soccer League. In it’s third season of play, the NASL is expanding greatly. Bill Peterson, the commissioner of the NASL says Jacksonville meets the specific criteria that will provide a long and stable future for the team.
Villarreal, 48, is a native of Argentina with nearly thirty years of soccer experience. He is most known for his five years at Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s, that won him a spot on the Argentine National Team. Villarreal has represented his nation eight times, and qualified for the 1994 World Cup.
He has previous experience with the Armada’s General Manager, Dario Sala, when the two played together at the Argentine Club Belgrano in 1998. Sala said,” We will bring a new style of soccer to Northeast Florida, and that starts with our head coach.” Sala acknowledged Villarreal’s passion, playing experience, strong international connections, and leadership. Mark Frisch, owner of the Armada, says the new coach is already prepared with a list of guys under consideration to play for the new team.
Villarreal previously was the assistant coach at Chilean Club Colo-Colo, which has the most wins in Chilean first league history, 30 titles, and has been in the top league since founded in 1925.The style of soccer Villarreal puts an emphasis on is a dynamic way of play with frequent player rotation. he favors short plays, so the opponents are left with no space to get anything. For now, his duties are to build the team’s roaster and technical staff before coaching the Armada in 2015. The Armada is Villarreal’s first job as head coach, as well as first job coaching in the United States. He’s excited to work and raise his family here.
This was great timing to announce the Armada’s head coach as 52,000 fans watched the U.S. Men’s Soccer team victory in Jacksonville a couple weekends ago, just days before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil.