FC Tucson even with San Jose Earthquakes
Miloš Dragić scores for second time in preseason
FC Tucson faced off against the San Jose Earthquakes in a pre-season tune-up match at Kino Sports Park Wednesday, and ended the match in a draw.
San Jose took advantage of the absence of several familiar faces to try out new players like Colombian forward Tressor Moreno, former FC Dallas player Marvin Chavez and UC Riverside draftee César Díaz Pizarro.
Moreno, who played for FC San Luis in Mexico, was a constant presence in the box. He had several off-target shots, but he gave FC Tucson's defense fits.
San Jose's goal came not from Moreno, but from midfielder Rafael Baca. Chavez crossed a ball that was picked up by Shea Salinas. Salinas found Baca waiting right in front of the goal and he drove it home point-blank.
FC Tucson was able to strike back, but only after many of the San Jose's starters had left the field in the first break. The second period was more physical, with the referee blowing his whistle on several occasions and two yellow cards issued to FC Tucson players.
Tucson took advantage of the greener line-up. Miloš Dragić picked up a loose ball in San Jose's box and brought the tied the score at 1-1.
The third period of the extended match brought in San Jose players that, in San Jose coach Frank Yallop's words, "decisions need to be made about." It ended up being an uneventful frame, and the game ended in a draw.
Words with coach
"I think our boys played great," said FC Tucson coach Rick Schantz after the game. "They worked very hard, that seems to be our staple."
"We did much, much better on the outside," he continued, noting a difficulty that they had in their previous match against New England. "We talked a lot about getting forward and wide."
Schantz took full advantage of unlimited substitutions, most notably in the case of goalkeeper Cody Suppe and forward Miloš Dragić, who were in and out of the game several times.
"They all want to play, yes it's not youth soccer, but they all work hard. So, I don't mind letting them all play."
Missing man formation
Although generally satisfied with what he saw from his team, Frank Yallop wanted to note that it's a very different line up than what you'll expect to see from the Earthquakes in the future.
"We've got five players not even here," he said, "from that first unit, we've still got six guys to add to it."
Usual starters Steven Lenhart, Jason Hernandez and goalkeeper Jon Busch were all given the day off. League leading goal scorer Chris Wonolowski didn't arrive in Tucson until Wednesday night. All four are expected to play in a scrimmage against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
English player Simon Dawkins was on loan to the team last year, and they are in negotiations with his club, Tottenham Hotspur FC, to bring him back.
Remember the Titans
At a press conference this week, goalkeeper Jon Busch said that as a 35-year-old father, he would likely not be partaking of our city's night life. So, what does he plan to do while he's here?
"I want to see the missile silo."
He's likely referring to the Titan Missile Museum, located south of Tucson. Their hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday — convenient for any soccer training schedule.
That's nice, now get back to work
FC Tucson player Kyle McQuown didn't have much of a post-game cool down; he had to go back to work.
He came into the game as a substitute during his lunch break.
"I called his boss," said Rick Schantz, "I told him to give him a lunch break so he could play against an MLS team."
Something tells me Frank Yallop never has to do that.