Monohan, Marquez, Miller return to Old Pueblo in FC Tucson Women home debut | Soccer notes
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Soccer notes

Monohan, Marquez, Miller return to Old Pueblo in FC Tucson Women home debut

Men's side plays in fan-created Copa Frontera

Samantha Monohan, or Sam to her teammates, is being counted on by FC Tucson’s women’s side for her experience. The one-time TSA and Catalina Foothills standout played at NAU, then took a trip a bit further from home. She’s moved to the city of Espoo in southern Finland, playing for two seasons for FK Honka in Naisten Liiga, Finland’s top women’s league.

After growing up in the United States, the hardest part of playing in Finland was the lack of on-field chatter.

“They are more reserved, so it’s a bit quieter on the field,” said Monohan. “You come out to the states and everyone is ‘blah blah,’giving direction and all that. It worked for them.”

“It was good for me because I’m actually a quiet person,” she added.

Monohan noted this was possible in Finland because of the emphasis on short passes and possession, with positioning worked out in drills at training.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “I’m bringing those drills and I think they can improve soccer in this country.”

Monohan and the rest of FC Tucson Women will face off with rivals Phoenix Del Sol at Kino Stadium on Saturday. The match starts at 7:30 p.m.

Legends

FC Tucson Women’s coach Amy Garelick admits that last week’s road trip to Los Angeles revealed some issues with the team.

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“We’re coming together … one of our weaknesses, especially this past weekend, is throwing in new players that haven’t been training,” she said. “We’re trying to figure out how we all play … it’s about becoming familiar.”

Two of the team’s players have day jobs in Phoenix, but have strong Tucson ties. Both Analisa Marquez and Mallory Miller were highly regarded players for the Arizona Wildcats. Both have experience in the upper reaches of women’s soccer, Marquez with professional team Atlanta and Miller in the U.S. national team system. They don’t train with the rest of the team, but things seem to be working out none the less. Marquez scored the team’s first goal on Sunday.

Despite the talent that both players bring to the team, there is a challenge in having players train all week only to see a spot taken up by someone that hasn’t been there.

“We announced the roster last Wednesday and Analisa was on there and Mallory was on there,” she said. “Luckily these girls are Tucson soccer legends. When you add them, it’s not that big of an issue.”

“You’ve got to deal with it. No one wants to play and lose. This is part of the deal,” she added.

Al Norte de la Frontera

It is too early to talk about FC Tucson lifting the cup for the PDL championship and, sadly, their chances at the U.S. Open Cup ended a couple of weeks ago. Still, they have a chance at another cup: the Copa Frontera.

The Copa Frontera logo features the gold and red Cross of Burgundy carried by Spanish tercios in the 17th century and a map of the New Mexico Territory with the borders it had between the Gadsden Purchase and 1863. Appropriately, it is a competition among three teams located in that area: Las Vegas Mobsters, Albuquerque Sol FC and FC Tucson.

Saturday night’s clash in Albuquerque between FC Tucson and the Sol is the fourth match in the competition, which was created by supporter groups of the three teams involved. A win by FC Tucson would further cement their position at the top of the standings for the cup. The team is currently at four points after playing two matches.

Ted Prezelski writes about all things soccer, fútbol and piłka nożna for TucsonSentinel.com and at the blog How Flair is Punished (mindingthe.net).


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