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Soccer notes

But we just started: FC Tucson women play season's last home match Friday vs. Phoenix Del Sol

Men face off with Colorado Pride; last PDL team goes out of U.S. Open Cup

FC Tucson’s women’s team will be having its final home match of the season on Friday night at Kino North Stadium.

Yes, you heard that right: the last home game only 10 days after the team had its first one.

The team plowed through a schedule that included three matches in five days, winning two of them. They are playing the only remaining opponent in their division, Phoenix-based club Del Sol SC, to complete their abbreviated home stand.

Coach Amy Garelick notes that the match will be for first place, as Del Sol is only one point ahead of the second-place FC Tucson. 

“It will be a physical, hard fought game,” she said. “They are well coached and well organized.”

Del Sol mostly draws its players from alumni from the Del Sol soccer club in Phoenix. Many of the Arizona based players in FC Tucson have been playing against Del Sol players for years and that rivalry expresses itself on the field. A 2013 match between the two in Casa Grande featured a fight between two players and red cards for both.

The match begins at 5:30 p.m. at Kino North Stadium

Ambas Pimientas

Garelick had a bit of a challenge ramping up to the season. There was little time for a preseason to evaluate players and settle on a line-up, so she used the first couple of matches to do so. She’s confident that she’s found her core group, but there will still be some changes on the team sheet.

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Twin sisters Laura and Priscilla Pimienta will both be on the squad this Friday. They both played at the University of Arizona, and they have both played for FC Tucson at one time or another over the last few years, but rarely in the same match, or even the same season. Laura has been making regular appearances this season.

Lainey Burdett will be unavailable this weekend. Garelick is not saying which of her back-ups, Rita Siaha (a TSA player committed to Grambling State) or Malia Vanisi (Sahuarita native playing at the University of New Mexico) will be between the pipes.

Men face Colorado Pride

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks partnered with youth club Colorado Pride to start a team in the Premier Development League, which leaves the team with the slightly clunky name Colorado Pride Switchbacks U-23. They will be playing against FC Tucson’s men’s squad on Friday and Saturday nights at Kino Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

(By the way, those folks out there that lament that the name FC Tucson doesn’t contain additional descriptive words, be thankful that it doesn’t or else they would be Tucson TVSC TSA United FC U-23 Chivas Wednesday, or something else horrible.)

Because of the short PDL schedule, last week’s loss to Ogden City, a team mired at the bottom of the table, has made this weekend’s home matches more important if the team hopes to, as they have had every season save one, finish on top at the end of the season. 

Former FC Tucson player and Grand Canyon University standout Musa Morris is on the roster for the Pride.

Last PDL team out of the Open Cup

Whitier, Calif., based Golden State Force faced off against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night and got beaten 3 – 1 in the Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup. Pedro Fonseca scored the lone goal for the force. Despite the loss, Golden State will get $25,000 for being the PDL team with the best record in this year’s tournament.

Two of the teams that the semi-pro Force defeated on the way to the fourth round were professional teams, and the Galaxy scored as many goals against them as they had allowed in all three of their previous matches.

LA’s Ari Lassiter had two goals in Wednesday’s match. His father Roy, an MLS Golden Boot Winner, had only scored one goal in an entire career of Open Cup matches. 

One last stat

While we are on the subject of both Colorado and the Open Cup, US Open Cup guru Josh Hakala noted that MLS club Colorado Rapids, who were bounced out of the Cup by Nashville SC on Wednesday night, have been beaten by lower division clubs ten times in the tournament, which is the worst record of any top flight club. They have also gone fifteen times without winning multiple games in the tournament, which is a record in the modern era.

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Jenny Sandoval

Kelcey Cavarra (5) and Meghan Cavannagh (23) make an attack on the San Diego SeaLion's goal in a game last Saturday.