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Posted Jul 26, 2012, 8:03 am
FC Tucson general manager Jonathan Pearlman journeyed to Philadelphia this week with other team staffers for Major League Soccer's All Star Week. Pearlman is lobbying teams to make a stop in Tucson during next year's preseason.
Tucson's season ended on Saturday with a loss to Sounders FC U-23 in the first round of the Premier Development League playoffs. Despite the team's early exit, he calls the season a "rousing success."
"We were just looking to finish with a .500 record," he said.
"The main goal was to bring in a quality of player that would represent Tucson," he said. "Hard working, fun and good for the fans."
"We wanted to engage the local soccer fan," Pearlman continued. "We overachieved."
The team averaged 710 fans in the six home games for which the league reported attendance, which is a better figure than some of the better established teams in the league. The team ended with a 9-3-4 record, good enough for a second place finish with 31 points.
Still, Pearlman admits "We can do better."
"We want to do a better job of engaging the fan base," he said. "Especially the Hispanic fan base."
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"We learned so much. It was a humbling experience," he said.
Still, Pearlman regrets that the team did not make it further in the PDL championship.
"We were good enough to get into the final four," he said. "It stings a bit."
It's always something
The opening ceremony of the Olympics isn't until Friday, but the women's soccer tournament got underway on Wednesday.
North Korea was set to take on Colombia in Glasgow's Hampden Park. Eyes were supposed to be on Colombia, which is making its first appearance in the Olympics. However, the North Korean team got all the attention when they exited the field during the player introductions.
The trouble was the scoreboard. It displayed giant headshots of each player next to the flag of their country. Except it showed the red and blue taegeuk of South Korea rather than the red star and blue stripes of North Korea.
The teams were off the field for forty five minutes while things were sorted out. By the time the teams got back on the field for warmups and the whistle finally blew, a little more than an hour had passed. It was a 8:45 local time when it had started.
North Korea won the match 2 - 0.
LOCOG, the committee organizing the games, released the following statement:
"Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag. Clearly this is a mistake, we will apologize to the team and the national Olympic committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."
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Arizona Wildcat Ana Maria Montoya was among the available substitutes but wasn't called into the game.
The men's tournament begins Thursday when Spain takes on Japan in that same Glasgow stadium.