According to Jacksonville Armada FC fan blog Flagship Footy, Matt Fondy may be in talks to join the NASL side for the 2016 season. Prior to Louisville City’s announcement last month that the forward would return to Slugger for the upcoming season, rumors abounded that Fondy would look to explore his options in MLS or Europe. James O’Connor has already said that many NASL and MLS teams have been in contact with him and the team over his contract.
A few caveats: first, Flagship Footy does not name any sources for the rumors of Fondy’s move. Second, the title of the blog article begins with the word “RUMOR,” so it’s safe to take the claim with a grain or shaker of salt. Third, it is important to remember that Fondy is still under contract with LCFC. Jacksonville would have to buy out his contract and probably pay a transfer fee to City, too. That is not beyond a lot of clubs to do, but it may cost the Armada more than they think he is worth.
As much as I hate to say it, he deserves to move up as his teammate Bryan Burke did to Jacksonville. He already had 2 stints in MLS with Chivas USA and Chicago Fire before signing with Louisville City. If anyone on Louisville City FC deserves to go to try another level of competition it is Fondy. He was easily one of the best attacking players in all of the USL last season, and had a solid number of assists as well. Fondy was the 2015 USL Golden Boot Winner, USL MVP, USL Scoring Champion, and made the USL all League First team.
Matt Fondy definitely is one of the hardest working players in American soccer. He started his at University of California Santa Cruz and was in 2009 a NSCAA Division 3 All-American. He signed his first pro contract with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2011 after going undrafted by MLS. After a successful run, he signed with LA Blues in 2012, scoring 14 goals in 29 appearances. This was enough for him to secure a place with Chivas USA in MLS in August 2013. After just 8 appearances, he signed with Chicago Fire, where he also made 8 appearances. In 2014 he signed with Louisville City FC, and we all know how that ended up. Fondy played easily the best season of his career so far, making 28 appearances and netting 22 goals. A striker that can score and pass is not something we see too often in the lower professional leagues.
Fondy has had his chance in MLS, so why would anyone want him now? Well when your team can’t find the back of the net like Jacksonville in 2015 (just 18 goals in 20 league games), 22 goals in 28 appearances does speak volumes of the form the player is in. Jacksonville Armada where Bryan Burke went would have a great team with both Fondy and Burke on it. They were a great force for Louisville City this year.
Many of us would like to say Matt Fondy is our Ryan Giggs, but it is unlikely in this league with his talent. We should still remember what a player and person he is regardless of where he goes. Good Luck Matt Fondy wherever you go!