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Soccer

FC Tucson dominates in win over Yavapai

A last-minute free kick from Minh Vu put an exclamation point on a shut-out over Yavapai FC. Los Tucsonenses continued their dominance over Arizona teams with a 3-0 victory.

Yavapai played a defensive-minded formation in the first half, which that meant FC Tucson had the ball on Yavapai's side of the field for long stretches. When Yavapai got the ball up the field FC Tucson's defense was ready, said John Pearlman, Tucson's assistant coach and technical director.

"They were hard to break down... but that gave us opportunities to get comfortable at the back to try to unlock them," said Pearlman.

FC Tucson's offense was able to earn a number of corner kicks. One corner taken in the 20th minute by Glen Vauss found Malcolm Alugas who got the ball past Yavapai's keeper, Humberto Soriano, for their first goal of the evening.

A thirtieth-minute substitution that brought on Kiego Kemaya and Carlos Montes quickly paid off. Kemaya passed the ball to Montes, who chipped it over Soriano for Tucson's second goal.

Pearlman termed the goal "Absolute class, a perfect combination of midfield and forward."

The second half brought some tactical changes from Yavapai. Their defense was more spread out to counter Tucson's wide play. That gave Tucson more opportunities up the center of the field.

Unfortunately, Tucson failed to finish many of their chances despite having the overwelming share of possession. Some of this was due to off-target shots from Tucson, some was due to good goal keeping from Yavapai's Soriano. Pearlman, ever the coach, put it down as "we didn't reward our good play."

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It wasn't until the nintieth minute when Nick Marshall was taken down just outside of the top of the penalty area when Tucson was able to score. Minh Vu took the kick and delivered it past Soriano for Tucson's third goal.

Yavapai's team was much improved from the side that took a 7-2 drubbing from Tucson last month. Still, Yavapai's coach Philip Reid admitted that there was still work to be done.

"We made three mistakes. You can't make mistakes against a team like Tucson," he said.

One of the challenges for FC Tucson was accomodating six new players that came into the squad this week. Both Pearlman and head coach Rick Schantz thought that the new players quickly caught on to the "rhythm" of the squad. One was Connor Mitchell who liked the experience.

"It was a good atmosphere... the team is very professional."

After the game, Tucson's staff were attending to Carlos Montes for an ankle injury after a tackle from a Yavapai player. Schantz said in a phone call Sunday morning that the team is waiting to see if Montes will need further medical attention.

Los Tucsonenses to take on Kid Kiwis

Sunday afternoon, the team will be travelling to Casa Grande for a scrimmage against New Zealand's under-17 team. New Zealand is one of several teams training in Arizona for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup. It may sound hard to get players excited for a game like this, but there may be some special incentive for this one. According to the rules of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, teams in the tournament have to provide video of matches like this to the other teams in their group. In New Zealand's group: the United States.

Coach Rick Schantz imagines what it might be like when the video is in the hands of the U.S. Soccer federation.

"So, they are watching for what New Zealand is doing, then they go, wait, did you see that? Who was that?"

Hey, it could happen.

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

Yavapai FC defender Jesus Escalera slides in for a tackle as Yavapai visited FC Tucson on Saturday night.

Scoring summary

  • FC Tucson: Malcolm Alugas (20'), Carlos Montes (34'), Minh Vu (90')
  • Yavapai FC: None
  • Starting line-ups
  • FC Tucson: Michael Moran - Malcolm Alugas, Jorge Martinez, Tony Aguilar - Glen Vauss, Aaron Long, Charles Blaze, Dominic Papa, Jesús Ortiz - Minh Vu, Nick Marshall
  • Yavapai FC: Humberto Soriano - Ryan Ward, Brian Holmes, Jesús Escalera, Jesús Meza - Frazier Biba, Jordan Brandell, Eric Sotelo, Alan Ibarra, Drew Guerra - Dallas Rusch-Michener