Armada denies reports of club releasing all players

JACKSONVILLE, Fla- The Jacksonville Armada soccer team is denying internet reports that they released all of the team's players Wednesday and are preparing to shut down.

"We have not canceled ALL of our players' contracts," Armada Senior VP of Marketing Jo Shepherd told First Coast News on Wednesday.

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The team did confirm that five players who were on the team to end the 2016 season were let go, including popular goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, whose contract expired, the team said in a statement. The other players released are defenders Matt Bahner, Mechack Jerome, and Tyler Ruthven, along with goalie Sean Lewis.

The Armada is one of several team rumored to be in jeopardy in the financially troubled North American Soccer League. Three of the league's 12 teams already announced plans to play in other leagues while three other teams (Ft. Lauderdale, Rayo OKC, and New York) are reportedly close to folding.

Wednesday, the soccer site Empire of Soccer reported the team was releasing all of their players and laying off staff.

The Armada released a statement saying that owner Mark Frisch "..is continuing to work with the club's leadership to keep the sport of professional soccer alive in Jacksonville.

READ: Armada owner commits to team's future, but where they play is up in the air

An announcement about the league's future is expected in the next few days as the United States Soccer Federation has been negotiating with the NASL, United Soccer League, and others about the future of minor league soccer in the U.S.