Our fears of His Hairness’s departure to the shores of northeast Florida were founded, as it turns out. The Jacksonville Armada announced today that Matt Fondy will be joining them for the 2016 NASL season (fall AND spring!). No details about the transaction have been announced, as is annoyingly the custom in lower league soccer in America.
This news, of course, makes us all a little sad. Matt Fondy is a great guy, everyone likes him, he works really hard on and off the field. It helped that he’s a good looking dude, scores a lot of goals, and has great hair. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise when our best players get poached by teams that (we hope) are willing to offer them more money or better (maybe, anyway) competition or both. It’s a testament to the club’s success on the field in 2015 that we’ve lost three of our best players. What we need to do now as fans is embrace this new group, help them be the best they can be, and wave goodbye to the guys that moved to what we hope are greener pastures. Tealer, in Jacksonville’s case.
There’s no denying Matt was a huge part of Louisville City’s success in its inaugural season. He broke the league goalscoring record and won league MVP. He was great with the fans, hell, I have a picture of him with my five year old that he took no questions asked. Fondy leaves us as a club legend, and that’s the way we should look back on him later on.
So let’s look at how the club recovers from this: We’ve got a really good striker in Chandler Hoffman that will probably play the same position as Fondy did. Not the same way, probably, as they’re different players. I’m interested to see how the midfield behind him responds to that and what changes they might make tactically to help them maximize Hoffman’s potential. Or maybe it’s a different deployment up front altogether, as I mentioned earlier in the week.
Yes, Fondy is leaving us, but probably in the best way he could, and with Louisville City still primed to blaze a path through the USL this year. COME ON, CITY.