Jacksonville Armada FC are searching for a new head coach, and Empire of Soccer is reporting that there are a pair of candidates with ties to the New York soccer scene in the running to fill that vacancy. The report states that former Metrostars and Red Bulls goalkeeper Tony Meola is currently the frontrunner for the job, while former Red Bulls coach Mike Petke has also been considered for the position.
Meola spent a good portion of his playing career in the New York area, including stints with each of the Long Island Rough Riders, Metrostars/Red Bulls, and New Jersey Ironmen. He also had a spell with the Kansas City Wizards in between his New York MLS spells, and actually made seven appearances for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers before Major League Soccer came into existence.
Petke should also be well known in the New York area, having made the majority of the appearances in his playing career with Metro/Red Bull. He also managed the Red Bulls in 2013 and 2014, leading them to a Supporters Shield in 2013 and another good season in 2014 before being controversially let go ahead of the 2015 campaign. Petke spent some time this season with ONE World Sports, and was excellent with his analysis.
For Meola, a head coaching with Jacksonville job would be his first. The Armada had strong support from the fans in 2015, but unless the talent available to the next head coach improves, it's difficult to imagine the club improving a whole lot after a bottom of the table finish in 2015.