'Smart, composed' Barriero leads FC Tucson women
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'Smart, composed' Barriero leads FC Tucson women

Former UTEP Miner provides maturity and playmaking

Tucson Soccer Academy standout Bri Barriero posted 9 goals in her time playing midfield at the University of Texas El Paso.

She hasn’t hit the back of the net yet for FC Tucson, but scoring isn’t the only part of her job description.

“She’s got great leadership…she’s got incredible presence on the field,” said head coach Kelly Pierce. “She’s composed; she’s smart; she’s a great playmaker…we can put her up top, we can put her on the six, we put her in the mid. We can move her around.”

“Every game she makes a difference,” she added. “Having her maturity brings a lot to the team.”

It’s those qualities that led Pierce and the team to give Barriero the captain’s armband this season. Although the team has a core of experienced players, there are also many that are still in high school. This gives some added responsibilities for whomever is wearing that armband.

“It’s big. Obviously, they are all getting ready for college careers. So, I help them and guide them that way,” said Barriero. “They’ve all been phenomenal all season, every practice, every game. They’ve stepped up when they’ve needed to.”

FC Tucson’s next match is away to Las Vegas based Players SC, their second to last match of the season. After a narrow 1 – 0 victory over a hapless FC Arizona side, the team has been working on scoring this week.

“This weekend is going to be really big for us,” said Barriero. “This week has been about finishing, because our backline has just been phenomenal…we’ve fallen short in the last couple of games finishing our chances.”

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“It’s a little bit of everything,” she added. “We need to be more aggressive in the final third and take our chances. We’ve had a lot of balls off the crossbar and hitting the post. We just need to find a way to find the back of the net.”

The team is currently in second place with 13 points, but have a game in hand over first place Albuquerque Sol (17 points). Only the first place team in the five-team Desert Division will advance to the playoffs.

When a draw is a win

A win over Players SC this weekend should be easy. After all, if you check the league results, FC Tucson beat them 5–0 back on June 7.

Wait a second, I was at that game. Wasn’t it a 1–1 draw?

According to FC Tucson staff, there was an ineligible player on the field for Players SC. The game is now recorded as a 5–0 FC Tucson win, presumably a "walk-over" penalty for Players.

The exact nature of the infraction, and the name of the player involved couldn’t be confirmed with the Women’s Premiere Soccer League; representatives didn't respond to requests for comment.

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Dan DeGracie

Bri Barriero in action on June 21 against FC Arizona.