When Canadian defender Karl Ouimette steps onto the field as a member of the Jacksonville Armada, he’ll complete a rare feat. He will have played in MLS, NASL and USL all in the same season.
And he said that, until I asked him about it on Tuesday, he hadn’t thought about it at all.
“Playing in all three leagues? It hadn’t crossed my mind,” said Ouimette, who was loaned out by the New York Red Bulls to the NASL’s Armada. “As a player you always want to focus on what’s ahead —and you don’t worry about what’s behind you.”
Ouimette arrived in Jacksonville last Monday; a week before the Red Bulls brass told him that they wanted him to go to the NASL. Ouimette had started the season getting regular minutes for the Red Bulls, but was later sent down to the USL where became the infamous victim of a kick to the back from Pittsburgh’s Romeo Parkes. Right after the incident, the Riverhounds released Parkes — even before USL suspended the player for the rest of the 2016 season.
Ouimette said he has no lasting ill effects from that kick to be back — and he’s simply itching to play.
“The goal for a soccer player is to get in the most games possible,” he said. “That was not going to happen at the Red Bulls because of the number of players at centre back.”
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