FC Tucson soccer
Tucsonenses take hope from loss
Even though FC Tucson lost 6-1 to FC Edmonton on Friday, Coach Rick Schantz has seen encouraging signs from his team. The match against the Canadian side in Casa Grande was Tucson's third match while they prepare for their season.
FC Tucson is an amateur team that has just been assembled over the past few months. However, the team has had two of it's pre-season tune-up matches against professional sides.
Although they don't compete at the same level as the other team Tucson faced, the New York Red Bulls, Edmonton includes former Chivas USA player Lance Parker and Dutch goalkeeper Rein Baart. Schantz and his staff thinks that his side has shown well against more experienced teams.
"FC Tucson showed we can compete with the pros," Schantz said on the team's Facebook page.
Schantz pointed out that despite the amateur nature of team, he's been impressed by their dedication. "Fernando (Gauna) got off work, drove up to Cortaro and got on the freeway to get to the game on time. There's a real commitment," he said in a phone interview.
Schantz has also been impressed by Dominic Pappa, who he believes is becoming a leader on the team. "I think he's growing into being a captain."
Pappa had the assist on the one goal Tucson scored. He recieved a throw-in and passed it to an onrushing C.J. Kaufman whose near post shot got past Edmonton substitute goalkeeper Parker in the 63rd minute.
Final details on how their league will be organized are still being worked on, but FC Tucson is expected to stage a home opener on May 13th. A schedule has not yet been made public, but Schantz said he expects the first four games to be at home.