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Posted May 30, 2014, 7:17 am
Odaine Sinclair had a pair of goals in FC Tucson’s win over BYU Cougars at Kino Stadium on Thursday night. His second helped seal the victory for los Tucsonenses, but no one is talking about that goal.
In the closing minutes of the first half, a BYU defender cleared the ball away from Tucson’s Sebastian de Rada. The hasty clearance with his head sent the ball looping in the air. FC Tucson’s big Jamaican forward Odaine Sinclair broke away from his marker, and carefully watched as the ball dropped toward him. He leaned back and leaped into the air. While upside down and hanging there seemingly longer than Isaac Newton would approve of, he caught the ball with his shoelaces and it rocketed just below the crossbar and out of reach of BYU’s stunned goalkeeper, Brian Hale.
“That is by far the best goal I’ve ever seen live in my life,” said FC Tucson coach Rick Schantz. “Not only was it a bicycle kick, he was 20 yards out and moving away from the goal. The players said that his foot was above the crossbar when he struck the ball.”
“I can’t wait to see the video,” he added.
“I’m stunned. I’m stunned as everybody is,” said Sinclair about the goal. “It popped up and I saw it. I just went for it. I didn’t know it went in until the crowd started cheering. Then I saw my teammates running. I’m pretty stoked right now.”
“You’ve got a 6' 3", 210-pound target forward that looks like he got feet of a 5' 8" player. He uses his body so well,” Schantz said of Sinclair. “I think BYU can attest to the fact that he’s pretty tough to get the ball away from. There were many times guys tried to win the ball from him and they bounced off. Odaine is a special talent.”
The match wasn’t only BYU’s first loss of the season, it is also the first time the team has been shutout since last June. The Cougars will be traveling to Las Vegas on Saturday, while FC Tucson has a non-division match against the Southern California Seahorses. The Seahorses have been struggling this season with only one point out of three matches so far.
The Seahorses match will be the second of two matches. The first will be TSA FC, Tucson’s team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, taking on LA Legends in their first home match. That game starts at 5:30 p.m. at Kino North Stadium, with FC Tucson coming on at 7:30 p.m.
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As spectacular as Sinclair’s goal was, it wouldn’t have meant much if FC Tucson hadn’t contained a usually volatile BYU offense. Schantz credited Michael DeGraffenreidt, Greg Carter, Andres Acosta and Edgar Reyna for keeping BYU off the scoreboard, but also goal keeper Billy Thompson.
“They (the back four) can take some chances, because they know that any through balls or high balls or crosses and corners, he’ll get them,” Schantz said. “I expect Billy to be playing pro soccer next year.”
Schantz admitted that there had to be some adjustments mid game after BYU had established a bit of an advantage in possession.
“We were struggling with their two attacking center mids in the first 20 minutes,” he said. “The adjustment we made was dropping out attacking center mid and turning forwards to one high and one underneath to pick up their midfielders. Once we did that, we felt that we took away their danger. They were reduced to a long ball team.”
“As soon as we got the message out to these guys … there was a huge change,” Schantz said.
The team became more defense oriented after the 70th minute, when substitute defender Trevor Morley entered the match to put some fresh legs on the back line. Still, BYU sniper Blake Frischknecht had two quality chances.
“You are not going to keep a great player like that without chances the whole game,” Schantz said of Frischknecht, who has scored three goals for his team so far. “I thought we recovered well.”
“We were really fortunate to keep the shutout,” said Schantz. “I won’t take anything away from those guys.”