After establishing a relationship with the Jacksonville Armada, AX are delighted to announce that showcase players Minh Vu and Shawn Nicklaw will join the NASL outfit on trial for their inaugural season.
The affiliation with the Armada began at AX’s 2013 Jacksonville combine when the club’s technical director Nathan Walters attended. After being impressed by the talent shown in north Florida, representatives from the Armada began to attend many of AX’s summer combines and showcases, taking a handful of players on trial.
AX staff had worked with both Vu and Nicklaw over the past few years, and had no hesitation in recommending them to the ambitious outfit after establishing this connection. The duo will now train in front of head coach and former Argentina international José Luis Villarreal, who discovered Lionel Messi among other top South American talent, and looks to bring a Latin flair to Jacksonville.
With his pace and trickery Minh Vu certainly looks to fit this mold. The Tucson native linked up with AX in Sweden for the 2013 summer showcase but was unlucky to not secure a deal with any of the onlooking clubs. Undeterred, Vu made twenty appearances for USL PRO side Rochester Rhinos in 2014 and AX kept tabs on his performance. After Jackson Armada asked AX for players capable of representing them in their first NASL season, the attacker was immediately recommended for trial.
He will be joined by Shawn Nicklaw. The University of Connecticut product traveled with AX for their 2012 summer trip to Turkey and impressed in front of many top names to secure a deal in the Danish top tier with HB Køge. Nicklaw went on to make his professional debut against then Barclays Premier League outfit Fulham, and impressed enough at right-back to make the first of his 14 international appearances for Guam. AX then engineered a deal to return him to the States, this time with the Wilmington Hammerheads for the 2013 season. He then joined Thór in Iceland where he further enhanced his reputation with his ability to play in numerous positions. He now looks to progress in the NASL after AX’s recommendation to the Jacksonville Armada.
General manager Darío Sala, who played as a goalkeeper in Argentina, Colombia and in Major League Soccer with FC Dallas, is looking to build a team that can challenge for NASL honors in its debut season. With the talent that AX has sent their way so far, they are sure to be keen attendees of AX showcases and combines for years to come.