Arizona Soccer Weekend Roundup

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for our Arizona teams. FC Tucson got the weekend’s soccer underway at the Kino Sports Complex on Friday night when they entertained BYU in their PDL opener. This was the first game of a doubleheader. In a game where Tuscon never really got going, making several basic errors, they found themselves at the end of a 3-0 defeat. BYU looked a far more confident team on the night. FC Tucson captain Tate Schmitt putting that down to BYU “having more time to gel” as a team.

PDL – FC Tucson 0 BYU 3

Saturday night saw the two teams face off again but this time with a better outcome for the home team. Tucson Head coach Jon Pearlman made several changes to the starting 11 and this resulted in a much-improved performance from the night before. The game ended in a 1-1 tie with both goals coming from the penalty spot. Tate Schmitt converted for FC Tucson in 65 minutes before Lucas Vallilo’s equaliser on 79. Coach Pearlman was much happier with Saturday night’s performance. “Obviously we’d like to finish more, but in terms of the quality we stepped up and I think we found a good lineup and a good way of going about our business. Some really strong runs and some intelligent play.”

PDL – FC Tucson 1 BYU 1

FC Arizona took on So Cal SC in the NPSL on Saturday night. However, they did have to change their usual home venue due to a race meet at Mesa Community College. The match was played at Corona Del Sol high school. The home side were missing several key players for the game with Papa, Paul and LaMarca all unavailable.

The change of venue or the reshuffled team line did not seem to affect Arizona at all, and within 6 seconds they had taken the lead. courtesy of Ryan McAvoy. Debutant George Jermy added a second in 32 minutes from a Cesar Mexia cross and 2 minutes later it was three with a fine finish from Alejandro Aguilar. Arizona added one more to their tally after the break with an Ari Sanchez header to complete a very comprehensive 4-0 victory.

FC Arizona now sits proudly at the top of the NPSL Southwest Conference standings, albeit with Riverside Coras having played a game less. Arizona boasts an impressive record of 6-0-2, scoring 24 goals and only conceding 2. This is even more impressive given that this is their first season.

NPSL – FC Arizona 4 So Cal SC 0
FC Arizona: Weber, Rodriguez, Salama, Guse, Coba (Barbera 71), Jermy, Rivera, McAvoy (Alton 87), Sanchez (Iovino 52), Aguilar (Gonzalez 46), Mexia.

Goalscorers: McAvoy (1), Jermy (32), Aguilar (34), Sanchez (53)

Phoenix Rising welcomed a struggling Reno 1868 to the Phoenix Rising Soccer complex on Saturday night for their USL Western Conference game. Reno had not won any of their first 5 games so on paper it looked like a good chance for Rising to build on their 4-3 victory over Swope Park Rangers in their last outing.

However, the script for the night was not to go to plan. The 6,067 fans that had turned up on a windy night in Scottsdale full off hope were shocked when the visitors opened the scoring in just 2 minutes. USL all-time top goalscorer Dane Kelly picked up the ball around 25 yards out before unleashing a powerful shot into Cohen’s bottom right-hand corner. 4 minutes later things got even worse for the home side when Kelly again drilled home another low effort from around 18 yards out. Rising did have chances to reduce the deficit before the break but went in 2-0 down.

Reno added 2 more goals in the second half. In 66 minutes Kelly completed his hat-trick, finishing off a wonderful passage of play when he twisted and turned inside the 6-yard box before firing a shot in off the post. Chris Wehan added the fourth and final goal of the game in the 77th minute, sliding past Cohen from close range.  A big congratulations to FC Reno 1868 on their first victory for the franchise. Rising now hold a 2-0-3 record.

Rising interim head coach Rick Schantz bemoaned his team’s start to the match, stating “You make two bad mistakes in the first seven or eight minutes and it’s tough because then you’ve got to chase the game, and it’s just not the type of team that we are.”

Defender Peter Ramage added “We caused our own problems tonight … this could be the reality check that we need to put us back in check after the two victories we had. We still have a lot of things to work on.”

USL – Phoenix Rising 0 Reno 1868 4
Phoenix Rising: Cohen, Vasquez, Stewart, Ramage, Gray (Johnson 73), Watson, Riggi, Rooney (Avila, 60), Wright-Phillips, Cortez (Seth, 78), Bravo.

Check out AZ Soccer’s event calendar for a list of upcoming games.

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