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Weekend soccer: Tucson wins, Phoenix loses

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Soccer notes

Weekend soccer: Tucson wins, Phoenix loses

Plus: Arizonans DeLeon and Cruz impress at DC United

FC Tucson’s players and coaches were understandably happy this week about the Pima County Board of Supervisors vote to build the team a new facility at Kino Sports Complex. They had to take a break from celebrating this weekend as both they and their soccer brethren in Phoenix had matches.

FC Tucson, 2 - Grand Canyon University, 1

Despite winning against the Grand Canyon University Antelopes by a score of 2-1 on Friday night, FC Tucson head coach Rick Schantz was not happy with his team.

“We didn’t play very well. We were just good enough when we had to be. We weren’t crisp; that’s going to come with time,” Schantz said.

FC Tucson opened the scoring in minute 23 with a delivery from Kevin King. After the game, King called the goal “routine.”

“It’s what we work on, and it was well-executed. As a goal scorer, once you get the angle you always aim for the far post. With a little pace you’re always going to get it past the goalkeeper,” King said of his goal.

Grand Canyon University’s Stipe-Darko Medic evened up the score at the hour mark, but Tucson’s Reid Schmidt delivered a free kick to the head of Conor Spence who found the back of the net and restored the lead for Los Tucsonenses.

The free kick was a result of a foul, one of several in a game that was a “friendly” in only the most technical sense of the word.

The back and forth between the teams blew open in the 88th minute when 'Lopes captain Alex Connally shoved and grabbed FC Tucson’s Donny Toia. It took several minutes for the teams to be separated. When the smoke cleared, Connally was dismissed from the field.

You can call the style of the game chippy or scrappy, but Schantz wasn’t pleased.

“If that were to go off in a season game with two teams pushing and fighting, we could have guys with 3-, 4- or 5-game suspensions and fines and the guys need to understand that’s not who we are. That’s not FC Tucson,” he said.

The match is the last tune-up game before the team’s first Premier Development League match on May 5 in Fresno.

Phoenix Monsoon, 0 - San Diego Flash, 1

The Phoenix Monsoon dropped their match Saturday at Phoenix’s Reach 11 Sports Complex by a score of 1-0 to the San Diego Flash, their third loss this season.

Still, given that the team’s week had the dual upheavals of a coach leaving and having to change home fields, Monsoon owner and interim coach Adrian Quintero took solace from the result.

“Without a doubt, our maturity playing together has to be better than it was today, this team is a work in progress. We were coming off two consecutive losses but my message to the team is to keep on working, especially after tough losses,” Quintero said.

The Monsoon went down early, Flash forward Brandon Zuniga scored in the second minute. The Monsoon defense stymied further attempts from San Diego, but the Flash backline responded in kind and kept the Monsoon from having many clean looks at goal.

“Every team we play seems to raise their game 100 percent against us. The guys played really well and delivered a solid performance. It was the type of play on the field that wins championships,” said Flash head coach Warren Barton after the game.

This was the second match against the San Diego Flash. The two teams met in an U.S. Open Cup qualifier. The Monsoon tied that match 4-4, but lost in penalty kicks.

Flash coach Barton is recognizable to fans of soccer for his time playing with Newcastle United FC and as one of the half-time commentators for Fox Soccer Channel.

Arizona boys light up RFK Stadium

D.C. United delivered a drubbing to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday in a driving storm by a score of 4-1. The headline of the match was United’s forward Chris Pontius’s hat-trick, but the remaining goal was scored by Phoenix-born Nick DeLeon.

DeLeon’s tally came in the 36th minute of a game in which D.C. United was dominant over an occasionally laughable New York team.

DeLeon and fellow Arizonan Danny Cruz were constant threats on offense. The two played as wingers on opposite sides of the field.

Cruz has played in all seven of D.C. United’s games this season, starting in five of them and scoring one goal so far.

FC Tucson Schedule

Unless otherwise noted, all times are 7 p.m., Tucson time. (Bold indicates home games. Home games will be at Kino Sports Complex.)

  • May 5 - at Fresno Fuego
  • May 10 - at Los Angeles Misioneros
  • May 12 - at Pali Blues
  • May 19 - Southern California Seahorses
  • May 26 -Pali Blues
  • June 2 - Fresno Fuego
  • June 5 - at BYU Cougars
  • June 7 - at Ogden Outlaws, 5 p.m.
  • June 14 - Los Angeles Misioneros
  • June 16 - at Ventura County Fusion
  • June 23 - Orange County Blue Star
  • June 30 - Ventura County Fusion
  • July 6 - BYU Cougars
  • July 8 - Ogden Outlaws
  • July 11 - Southern California Seahorses
  • July 14 - at Orange County Bluestar, 5 p.m

National Premiere Soccer League

West-Southern Conference Standings

San Diego Boca FC713310
San Diego Flash7725
Fullerton Rangers6523
FC Hasental327-5
FC Santa Clarita256-1
Phoenix Monsoon(0)113-12

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