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Magyar wizardry: FC Tucson drops first match of year to Sporting Kansas City

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Desert Friendlies

Magyar wizardry: FC Tucson drops first match of year to Sporting Kansas City

Hungarian striker Krisztian Nemeth scores hat trick and earns assist against SW side

  • Sporting Kansas City bench looks on in the second half of a scrimmage against FC Tucson
    Ted Prezelski/TucsonSentinel.comSporting Kansas City bench looks on in the second half of a scrimmage against FC Tucson

It's become an annual ritual between the two teams. Sporting Kansas City and FC Tucson have met for the fourth time in as many years in a preseason contest at Kino Sports Complex. The local side fell Monday in a spirited match with their top-level opponents, 4 - 2.

Despite being the lower-ranked team, it was FC Tucson that scored first after a long drought. Michele Pataia combined with Marquis Brooks to score in the 48th minute. Krisztian Nemeth, signed by SKC in December, equalized in the 60th minute.

It fell to FC Tucson's Derek Boggs to bring the hometowners back into the lead, but it didn't last long when Nemeth scored right after the restart.

Nemeth made sure that FC Tucson didn't come back ahead with a pass to Jimmy Medrana. Medrana found his way past FC Tucson keeper Jacole Turner. Nemeth again found the back of the net on his own in the final moments of the match.

Sporting Kansas City will be returning home for five days before returning to Tucson to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup. Their first match will be on Feb. 18 against the Colorado Rapids at 5:30 p.m. FC Tucson will be in action that night against Seattle Sounders FC at 8 p.m.

Jam session

"Considering we had one practice with half of them last night and we met the rest of them this morning in the locker room, we did great," said FC Tucson coach Rick Schantz.

Preseason FC Tucson is an annual soccer jam session. A few local players (in this case, Edgar Reyna and Martino Rapella), some veterans of the team that Schantz can call on (Odaine Sinclair and Dom Papa) plus players who are willing to come out hoping for a look from the big boys.

Staff for the Portland Timbers were in the stands, along with coach Michael Dellorusso of Arizona United SC. At least one FC Tucson player won't need to impress him too much. Jacole Turner, who came into the match in the second half for FC Tucson, has already been signed by United for this season. In a bit of "small world," he came up as a SKC youth player.

Schantz knows that many of these players are not looking to play for FC Tucson. Still, he has hopes that some will stick around, especially with a schedule that will include U.S. Open Cup play this year. He was particularly impressed by goalscorer Marquis Brooks, who played on the U.S. under-18 team.

"If these some of these guys are available, if they don't get signed," Schantz added hopefully.

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