Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Jacksonville Forward Ciarán Kilduff Named Player of the Week

NEW YORK – Ciarán Kilduff recently joined Jacksonville Armada FC, but he has certainly endeared himself to the club’s faithful in short order. The Irish forward has scored three goals in his last two games, including a pair of tallies in a 3-3 draw with the New York Cosmos on Sunday night. Kilduff was named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week for his two-goal performance, the league announced Monday.

Jacksonville jumped ahead of the Cosmos early in the club’s contest at MCU Park and it was Kilduff that led the charge. The native of Kilcock, Ireland, opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Jack Blake’s corner kick made its way through a crowd of bodies before Kalen Ryden headed the ball towards Kilduff. The Irishman’s effort came off the cross bar, but the ball bounced just over the line for the opening tally.

The forward showed his work rate away from goal to earn his second goal of the contest. He dispossessed Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela and drove towards the goal before sending his low effort through goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck’s legs in the 41st minute. The 28-year-old now has three goals in four appearances for the club.

The action on the field, though, was certainly far from over in Brooklyn. Blake tacked on a third goal for the visitors in the 65th minute before a tremendous turnaround by the defending champions.

Javi Márquez pulled a goal back for New York in the 79th minute after a lovely chipped pass from the reigning NASL Golden Ball winner Juan Arango. Just ten minutes later, Eugene Starikov headed home a cross from Ayoze, who then played provider again deep into stoppage time. Ayoze found Juan Guerra, who cut in from the left and fired a shot that left Jacksonville goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell rooted to the spot.

While Jacksonville didn’t leave New York with all three points, Kilduff’s effort helped the club extend its road unbeaten streak to three games. Jacksonville currently sits in the final position for The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament, which gets underway in November.

Armada FC’s push to the postseason continues on Sunday in a matchup with Florida rival and league-leading Miami FC. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET at Hodges Stadium and can be seen live on ESPN3 (U.S.) and NASL.com (Canada).

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