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UA Wildcats soccer

Wildcats hope home cooking cures tribulations

Team has mixed results from first Pac-12 road excursion

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The University of Arizona women's soccer team returns to Mulcahy Stadium on Friday, after finishing up a road swing that ended in a tie and a loss.

Coach Lisa Oyen took some positives from the games, and is still seeing improvements.

"We saw some fairly good performances this weekend," she said.

Friday's match was a back-and-forth fight with the University of Colorado Buffaloes. Both bench player Susana Melendez and Jessica Culver scored. The game was tied at the end of regulation, and no winner came out at the close of overtime.

"The Colorado game was 110 minutes. It was an exhausting physical effort," Oyen said.

Despite being worn out, the Wildcats were able to keep up with the University of Utah Utes for a fair portion of Sunday's match. Ana-Maria Montoya opened up the scoring and also had four shots on goal. Fatigue got to the team, and they ended up falling 3-1.

Whatever the curse that kept the Cats scoreless for so long appears to be broken. Oyen is hoping that playing a couple of games at home will help the team finally get that first win.

"It will be good to be playing back home," she said.

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Phoenix not rising?

Phoenix now has a franchise in every major sports league except one. There have been attempts in the past to get a Major League Soccer franchise. MLS recently announced that the Montréal Impact will be joining in the next season, so adding a Western team would make sense to keep what league officials call "logistical balance"

MLS Vice President Nelson Rodriguez was asked about the possibility of Phoenix getting a franchise in an appearance in Tucson last week.

"We always look at three general ingredients. One is a local ownership group, two is a receptive market and third is a viable stadium or a viable stadium plan. To my knowledge, no one from Phoenix has come forward with all of those ingredients," he said.

Currently, there is a grass-roots movement called "Phoenix Rising" that hopes to bring a team to Phoenix, and there have been more formal moves involving local business and civic leaders in the past (albeit when it was easier to get a franchise). But it sounds like the Valley of the Sun isn't in the league's expansion plans right now.

Windy City talkers

There are four MLS players from Ghana, and two, Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko, play for the same team, the Chicago Fire. On an episode last week of the MLS podcast, Extra Time Radio, Oduro noted something that he and Nyarko take advantage of, besides being two of the speediest players in the league. He and Nyarko have developed a great rapport and can trick defenders in part because they both speak a local Ghanaian language called Twi.

"The only other (Twi speaker) in the league is (Gershon) Koffie from Vancouver, and he isn't a defender."

It didn't help Tuesday night in the Open Cup, when Oduro's team fell 2-0 to Seattle. Twi, or any other language, is hard to understand when over 30,000 Sounders fans are yelling at you. Chicago still has an outside chance at the playoffs, however.

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University of Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks

  • Friday
  • 7 p.m.
  • Mulcahy Stadium, 2300 E. 15th St.

University of Arizona vs. Oregon State Beavers

  • Sunday
  • Noon
  • Mulcahy Stadium, 2300 E. 15th St.
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