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Soccer notes

Phx looks to win second in a row; FC Tucson awaits Open Cup draw

Plus: Our weekly update of Arizonans in professional soccer

After fits and starts early in the season, the pieces came together for Phoenix FC on Sunday with a 3-1 win over the Wilmington Hammerheads.

Former FC Tucson player and Old Pueblo native Donny Toia played a full 90 minutes in the match. The team's other former Tucsonense Reid Schmitt came in as a late substitute for Aaron King.

Phoenix's win came while starting goalkeeper Andrew Weber and defender Renan Boufleur were on suspension. They will be back in the line-up when the team faces the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday.

 "This was really our most complete game of the season," said head coach David Robertson in a statement released by the team. "The players are really starting to play well together; they know and expect where everyone else will be on the field. They're comfortable out there and they are letting the game come to them instead of forcing it. We are in a great place right now, and we hope to keep growing and getting better as a team."

The team will still be without Darren Mackie. The Scottish veteran, who was a much hyped signing before the season, has played a scant 29 minutes so far. He is recovering from a groin injury.

Friday night's match will be the first of two games in a row with Pittsburgh. For a team trying to get on the right track, it could be a morale booster. Pittsburgh has yet to win this season, their single point coming from a nil-nil draw with the Richmond Kickers on opening day.

Phoenix plays against Pittsburgh on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The team travels to Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds again next Thursday.

U.S. Open Cup field set after controversy

With a win by the Fresno Fuego Future over the APJCC Los Gatos Storm this weekend, the 68-team field for the U.S. Open Cup is set.

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This being soccer, there had to be a bit of controversy. The Kansas City Athletics beat Dearborn Stars FC on April 24, and Dearborn protested that the field was three yards too narrow. A game was rescheduled for Sunday, but the Athletics found that they couldn't find enough players to make the trip to Michigan. Ah, amateur sports.

The Athletics are miffed, but Dearborn gets to be in the tournament for the first time.

According to the blog TheCup.us, the tournament draw is scheduled for this week. Local fans will have to wait a few days to see who FC Tucson faces on May 14.

Arizonans around the world

Ventura Alvarado, D - Club América (Liga MX, Mexico)

Did not play this weekend.

Nat Borchers, D - Real Salt Lake (MLS)

Defender Borchers recorded a shot in Saturday's match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy scored early and never looked back in their 2-0 win.

Tony Cascio, M - Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Cascio rode the bench as an unused sub in Sunday's tie with the Houston Dynamo.

Danny Cruz, M - Philadelphia Union (MLS)

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Cruz had a shot late in the first half deflected by Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the match against New England on Saturday. The Union lost to the Revolution, the first time that has happened in club history.

Renae Cuéllar, F – FC Kansas City (NWSL)

Cuéllar scored again for Kansas City in their 2 – 0 win over Seattle on Friday night. Her goal puts her at four for the season and tied for second in the league.

Kiersten Dallstream, D – Seattle Reign (NWSL)

Dallstream came on in the 29th minute for Emily Zurer in a loss to FC Kansas City on Friday. Zurer, a Canadian national team player, was one of the few "national team allocations" in the line-up, despite the team being blessed with names like Hope Solo and Amy Rodriguez.

Justin Davis, D – Minnesota United FC (NASL)

Davis played a full 90 in the Loons' 3-2 win over Atlanta on Saturday. Minnesota is tied on points at the top of the table with the Carolina Railhawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies, a situation that might be remedied this Saturday when they face off with Carolina.

Nick DeLeon, M – DC United (MLS)

DeLeon is still recovering from an injury, so he missed out on a trip to Columbus that included a one hour delay due to a scoreboard fire.

Mix Diskerud, M – Rosenborg BK (Tippeligaen, Norway)

Diskerud was subbed out of a match with Sandnes Ulf at the hour mark. Already down a goal, the wheels came off after he left the field when two of his teammates were ejected for violent play. Ulf won the match 1-0.

Brad Evans, M - Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

Evans and Seattle had a weekend off. The team resumes its search for the elusive second win on Saturday against Philadelphia.

Robbie Findley, F - Real Salt Lake (MLS)

Findley was a late scratch from RSL's match against Los Angeles on Saturday following an injury in training.

Alan Gordon, F - San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

Gordon is still serving a suspension for on-field comments.

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Amy LePeilbet, D - Chicago Red Stars (NWSL)

The former ASU standout is still recovering from ACL surgery and is not expected to play this season.

Sydney Leroux, F – Boston Breakers (NWSL)

Leroux had an assist on one of two goals Heather O'Reilly scored against an Abby-less Western New York Flash on Saturday.

Manya Makoski, M – Sky Blue FC (NWSL)

Makoski played a full 90 minutes in Sky Blue's win over the Washington Spirit on Saturday. The win puts Sky Blue FC one point out of first place with one game in hand over league leader Portland Thorns FC.

Pablo Mastroeni, M - Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Mastroeni is still out with an injury, one of many his squad is suffering this season.

Brandon McDonald, D – DC United (MLS)

McDonald played the first half in a match that turned out poorly for visiting DC United. The home side lit up the scoreboard both literally and figuratively, and United went home with a 3-0 loss.

Jessica McDonald, F – Chicago Red Stars (NWSL)

McDonald came in as a sub in the 71st minute but wasn't able to turn things around for her team as they fell to league leading Portland Thorns FC.

Sam Monahan, M – FC Honka (Naisten Liiga, Finland)

Tucson-born Monahan had another goal and logged an assist in her team's victory over ONS. ONS stands for, and I'm not kidding, Oulu Nice Soccer.

David Paul, F - Puszcza Niepołomice (II liga, Poland)

Puszczka and Wisła Płock have spent much of the season locked in a tie at the top of the table. This weekend, the two teams had a chance to break that tie but no dice. Phoenix native Paul didn't score and was pulled out of the game at the half as Wisła and Puszczka played to a 1-1 draw.

Mike Randolph, D – Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)

Randolph and the Silverbacks felt their first taste of defeat this season as they fell to Minnesota on Saturday, 3-2. Randolph played the full game on the back line for Atlanta.

Luis Robles, G - New York Red Bulls (MLS)

A late shot by Jonathan Osorio kept Robles from earning another shutout, but he logged three saves as his team defeated Toronto FC, 2-1.

Carlos Salcedo, D – Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Salcedo was in the line-up in a Sunday reserve match with Los Angeles that turned out much better for the Claret-and-Cobalt than the previous day did.

Rob Valentino, D – Orlando City SC (USL-Pro)

Valentino logged an assist on Dom Dwyer's goal in a 4-0 demolition of Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday. The match's attendance, 9,589, set a regular season record.

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Click image to enlarge

Garrett Cleverly, AzKicksIt.com

Phoenix FC defender João Inacio de Jesus, also known as Netinho, in this weekend's match against Wilmington Hammerheads

United Soccer Leagues - USL Pro


Orlando City SC6138
Los Angeles Blues7126
Harrisburg City Islanders396
VSI Tampa Bay FC692
Charlotte Eagles484
Richmond Kickers376
Phoenix FC67-3
Charleston Battery363
Dayton Dutch Lions36-2
Wilmington Hammerheads33-4
Pittsburgh Riverhounds51-6
Rochester Rhinos51-12
Antigua Barracuda FC3(0)-8

2013 US Open Cup Participating Teams

Major League Soccer (Division I – 16 teams): Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City.

North American Soccer League (Division II – 6 teams): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies.

USL Pro (Division III – 12 teams): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Phoenix FC Wolves, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, VSI Tampa Bay FC, Wilmington Hammerheads.

USL Premier Development League - 16 places: The top two American-based teams from each division’s 2012 league standings. The teams will be: Austin Aztex, Carolina Dynamo, Des Moines Menace, FC Tucson, GPS Portland Phoenix, Laredo Heat, Michigan Bucks, Ocala Stampede, Ocean City Nor’easters, Orlando City U23s, Portland Timbers U23s, Reading United, Real Colorado Foxes, River City Rovers, Seattle Sounders U23s, Ventura County Fusion

National Premier Soccer League - 8 places: Brooklyn Italians, Chattanooga FC, FC Hasental, FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic, Georgia Revolution, Madison 56ers, New York Red Bulls U23s, Sacramento Gold

U.S. Adult Soccer Association - 8 places: Icon FC (New Jersey, Region I), Mass Premier Soccer (Massachusetts, Region I), Dearborn Stars SC (Michigan, Region II), RWB Adria (Illinois, Region II), North Texas Rayados (North Texas, Region III), Red Force (Florida, Region III), Doxa Italia (California South, Region IV), PSA Elite (California South, Region IV)

US Club Soccer - 1 place: Fresno Fuego Future

U.S. Specialty Sports Association - 1 place: Colorado Rovers

2013 US Open Cup Match Schedule

Play-In Round - Date: May 7 - Number of Games: 2 – Teams: Georgia Revolution (NPSL) at Colorado Rovers (USSSA); FC Hasental (NPSL) at Fresno Fuego Future (US Club Soccer)

First Round - Date: May 14 - Number of Games: 18 – Teams: Play-In Round winners plus USASA, NPSL, PDL entries and 4 USL Pro teams (Dayton Dutch Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Phoenix FC Wolves and VSI Tampa Bay FC).

Second Round – Date: May 21 - Number of Games: 16 – Teams: First Round winners join remaining 8 USL Pro and 6 NASL teams.

Third Round - Date: May 28 - Number of Games: 16 – Teams: 16 Second Round winners are paired against 16 MLS sides.

Fourth Round – Date: June 12

Quarterfinals – Date: June 26

Semifinals – Date: Aug. 7 or 21

Final – Date: Oct. 1 or 2

Source: TheCup.us