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Soccer

Phoenix FC drops another at home

Spirited second-half come back falls short

Phoenix FC couldn’t come back from two early goals on Sunday night and were handed their third loss of the season by the Los Angeles Blues. The final score at Tempe's ASU Soccer Stadium was 3-1.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to put their mark on the game. A cross from Matt Hall was allowed to travel to former Kansas City Wizards midfielder Nelson Pizarro undisturbed by the defense. Pizarro flicked it into the goal past backup Phoenix ‘keeper Sheldon Parkinson.

The Blues extended their lead only a few minutes later after another series of defensive errors gave Cory Miller a clear header at goal. This left Phoenix two goals down at the quarter of an hour mark.

Phoenix coach David Robertson called his team's early performance "very slack."

Robertson made two substitutions shortly after the goal, bringing out Devon Grousis and Peabo Doue and replacing them with Diego Faria and Elliot Weber.

Faria, playing in support of the two forwards, helped steady the attack. The team was better able to keep possession of the ball in the later stages of the half. Weber, in his first time on the field this season, had a nice charge at goal in the closing seconds of the half that gave the fans hope for a better second frame.

It was better; not enough better, but better. In all, Phoenix managed 10 shots in the second half, compared to a paltry three in the first. Even former FC Tucson player Donny Toia, playing in defense for the team, had a shot at the goal that went wide.

Finishing from the run of play was still a problem, even with players like Anthony Obodai peppering Blues ‘keeper Carl Woszczynski. Phoenix’s lone goal came from former Scottish Premier League player Scott Morrison, who curled in a free kick in the 66th minute.

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Any hope of an easy equalizer was dashed when the Blues scored off of a long range arc from Sergio Ortiz, who caught Parkinson way off his line. The 77th minute shot left Parkinson to helplessly watch the ball sail over his head Pat Darcy style.

The whistle blew with the home side down 3-1 and some serious questions to ask of the defense before their next game before they travel to Sandy, Utah to play an exhibition game against Real Salt Lake on April 22. The team’s next USL-Pro contest will be against the Wilmington Hammerheads at home on April 28.

'Slack'

A terse Robertson greeted reporters after the game.

“You think it wasn’t a very good game, that’s your opinion,” he told the gaggle after being questioned about the team’s performance. “We started to play badly in the first 20 minutes. We lost those two goals and we were up against it.”

“Second half we got a good reaction. We were probably the better team in the second half,” he said pressing his point about the team’s showing in the game’s later stages. “If you say it wasn’t a good game, you obviously know more than I do.”

“You can’t concede two goals in the first 20 minutes,” he conceded. “We were very slack.”

The brother gets a shot

Getting his first time on the field in the game was former Yavapai College Rough Rider Elliot Weber.

“I could have been more composed on a couple of those chances I had,” said Weber, whose twin brother Andrew, the team’s usual goal keeper, had to sit out of the game due to injury. “But it was good to finally get those minutes and show the coach what I could do.”

Weber’s road to pro soccer wasn’t the same path as his brother. He took time off to pursue a music career (he is from Austin, after all) and he and Andrew appeared on a season of the Amazing Race.

Weber came on as a sub in the first half after impressing Robertson during training sessions. He recorded only one shot on official stats, but he was up top threatening a lot more than that.

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“It would have been better if I scored,” he added. “We just gotta play hard and get the next one.”

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Garrett Cleverly, AzKicksIt.com

Phoenix FC's Donny Toia fights for possession with an LA Blues player.

Phoenix FC v Los Angeles Blues

ASU Soccer Stadium, Tempe

  • Scoring summary
  • LAB - Nelson Pizarro (7')
  • LAB - Cory Miller (15')
  • PFC - Scott Morrison (68')
  • LAB - Sergio Valle-Ortiz (77')
  • Misconduct summary
  • PFC - Cameron Vickers (caution, 73')
  • PFC - Scott Morrison (caution, 74')
  • LAB - Shay Spitz (caution, 74')
  • Phoenix FC: Sheldon Parkinson – Donny Toia, Scott Morrison, Devon Grousis, Renan Blofleur, Cyprian Hedrick – Anthony Obodai, Netinho – Aaron King, Peabo Doue, Travis Bowen
  • Los Angeles Blues: Carl Woszczynski – Matt Hall – Nelson Pizarro, Cory Miller, Mershad Momemi, Adrian Dubois, Rodrigo Lopez, Shay Spitz – Chris Cortez

United Soccer Leagues - USL Pro

Standings

GPPtsGD
Los Angeles Blues494
Orlando City363
VSI Tampa Bay FC462
Richmond Kickers243
Phoenix FC43-5
Charlotte Eagles132
Harrisburg City Islanders131
Pittsburgh Riverhounds21-1
Dayton Dutch Lions---
Wilmington Hammerheads---
Antigua Barracuda FC1(0)-2
Charleston Battery1(0)-3
Rochester Rhinos2(0)-5