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Posted Jul 14, 2012, 8:01 am
FC Tucson was looking to end their regular season Friday night with a strong match to launch them into the playoffs, but the team left Irvine, Calif., with their worst loss of the season. Orange County Blue Star downed FC Tucson 6-0 in the loss.
Blue Star's Enrique Cardenas opened up the scoring in the thirteenth minute. Cardenas notched another goal nine minutes later and had assists on two more. Andrew Craven, a member of the United States team at the 2009 U-17 World Cup, also scored a brace and had an assist on one of Cardenas's goals.
Despite the loss, Tucson still ends the season in second place. The silver comes with not only a trip to the playoffs but, should the still unannounced qualifying process work the way it did this year, a berth in next year's long-standing U.S. Open Cup.
Who Tucson plays in the playoffs will be determined on Sunday. Tucson will face the highest seeded team that comes out of Sunday's Northwest Conference playoff matches. First place Seattle Sounders FC U-23 takes on the Washington Crossfire, while current national champions Kitsap Pumas plays the Portland Timbers U-23.
Tucson's twitter feed summed up how badly the game was going at half time.
"We may have to avoid playing on Friday the 13th in the future."
Setting aside superstition, the team didn't travel with as many substitutes as they originally intended. Donny Toia couldn't dress for the game after a suspension for yellow card accumulation. The bench was left with only three field players, including an injured Dominic Papa and Reid Hukari, who was diagnosed with an upper respiratory problem that morning.
"We aren't going to make excuses," said Rick Schantz after the game.
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The team isn't unfamiliar with losses, they've done it twice before. But this is the first time they've been dominated by a margin that large. No team has scored more than two goals against them this season.
"It was a sobering loss," said Schantz. "The players and staff learned that we can't just go on the field and expect to win."
"Nothing was done today that can't be undone in a solid week of training and by having a fantastic performance (in the playoffs)," said FC Tucson general manager. "So we'll focus on that rather than this."
Montes on PDL Team of the Week
The Premier Development League named Carlos Montes to their team of the week. Montes was the only Southwestern Conference player so honored this week.
In a press release, the league cited Montes's two goals against BYU Cougars in last Friday's match. Montes also had an assist in that 3-0 win.