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FC Tucson

Ogden smash: FC Tucson men demolish visitors from Utah

German earns 3rd goal; Schmitt makes return

If there is a pattern for FC Tucson in its games thus far it’s that they score early. Like, so early that the women’s team that played the first match was still not off the field sort of early. Like, so early that the guys in the booth didn’t have their notes together sort of early. Like, so early that all the guys from Ogden might not have gotten off the bus yet sort of early.

Some of that is an exaggeration, but Friday it took less than three minutes for FC Tucson’s Damian German to score the team’s first goal of the evening. It never got better for the visiting Ogden City SC after that as FC Tucson rumbled past them for a 3 - 0 win at Kino North Stadium.

Diego Silva sent the ball to German for that first goal and over the next half hour, both Silva and German gave Ogden keeper Mitch Jensen fits with shots and threats to his goal.

Silva didn’t get a goal himself, but he got a second assist when both he and A. J. Valenzuela charged at the Ogden goal in minute 39. Silva’s short pass found the foot of Valenzuela, who got it past the overwhelmed Ogden keeper.

Dalton Pando came on at halftime and scored on his own in the 64th minute. He also managed a yellow card minutes later.

Tate Schmitt made his first appearance for the team this season when he came on as a sub in minute 60. He made an immediate impact with headers in both minute 67 and 77 that came inches away from being a fourth goal.

The match marks the team’s second win against Ogden in three matches. They are scheduled to play a fourth match on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Kino North Stadium.

Score early and often

Head coach Dave Cosgrove was absent for the match, so the team was coached by assistants Kier Cochran and Alex Rangel. Rangel noted in practice the other day that finishing was an issue with the squad in its matches against Ogden last week. It was, obviously, not one on Friday night. The team was able to establish a lead early, and that was important.

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“I talked to Kier (Cochran) today and told him were were going to keep the tradition alive and score in the first five minutes at home,” said Rangel. “If we can continue that at every home game, it will be spectacular.”

The goals in the last home match (Albuquerque on May 13) didn’t come early, but both came from a familiar name: Damian German. The Grand Canyon University forward has scored three goals in four league matches so far. Despite his early tally against Ogden, he knows the team needs to be careful on Saturday night against the same team.

“It’s always tricky. You win 3 - 0 and then have to play the same team the next day. Some people might take it lightly,” he said. “With soccer, it’s never the same result. We have to keep consistent, this is not an easy team.”

Tate!

By PDL standards, Tate Schmitt can be considered a grizzled veteran of FC Tucson. He’s been on the squad since 2016 and has scored 10 goals since then, and tallied six assists. As good as he’s been for FC Tucson, it’s his play at the University of Louisville that’s gotten him attention. The Phoenix native has earned a drawer full of honors from the Atlantic Coast Conference and helped steer the team to a quarterfinals appearance in the NCAA when he was a freshman.

All of this led the Premier Development League to name Schmitt as the number one on their top prospect list.

Schmitt just returned to the squad late this week. He put in a half an hour on the field where he had three shots on goal. Rangel is unsure if he will be on the bench or will be ready for a start on Saturday night.

“He’s just coming off of a surgery,” Rangel said. “He’s fit enough to play, but not a full 90. We need to determine that. Obviously he’s a great talent...you can tell the moment he steps on the field.”

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Curtis Dutiel

FC Tucson forward Damian German in battle near the center circle.

FC Tucson vs. Ogden City SC

Kino North Stadium

Scoring summary 
FCT - Damian German (3’)
FCT - A. J. Valenzuela (39’)
FCT - Dalton Pando (64’)

Misconduct Summary
FCT - Dalton Pando (caution, 64’)

FC Tucson: Andreu Cases - Ryan Scopulla, Henry Lander (Kyle Van Alstine 72’), James McGhee, Gavino Carranza - Miguel Salazar, A. J. Valenzuela (Alejandro Gonzales 57’), Jose Teran, Diego Silva (Dalton Pando 45’) - Damian German (Julian Gaona 75’), Jason Romero (Tate Schmitt 62’)

Ogden City SC: Mitch Jensen - Amer Sasivarevic, Alex Neff (Kaden Amani 74’), Aaron Caprio, Payden Pemberton (Gavin Flitton 57’) - Easton Embly (Landon Carson 74’), Luis Vargas, Emi Leme (Alex James 74’) - Zach Maas, Jarom Farnsworth (Carlos Decerra 60’), Skyler Milne (Matt Lockwood 74’)