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Fusion ticket: FC Tucson succumbs to late penalty kick

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Fusion ticket: FC Tucson succumbs to late penalty kick

Schanz admits Saturday match was a poor outing for local club

  • FC Tucson

FC Tucson’s eight-match undefeated streak ended Saturday night with a 2–1 loss to Ventura County Fusion at Kino North Stadium.

Neither soccer team scored from the run of play, and coach Rick Schantz admitted that FC Tucson did not turn in a good performance.

“We didn’t play very well,” said Schantz after the match. “Over all, you’ve got to give credit to Ventura. They were the better team tonight.”

Tucson went up early after a worrying moment for the team staff. Midfielder Ricardo Velazco dribbled the ball into the box for a sure shot at goal. Ventura goalkeeper Trey Mitchell collided with Velazco and he went down for several minutes while FC Tucson staff attended to him.

Connor Brandt easily found the back of the net while Velazco was being checked on the sideline.

Velazco had another run in with Mitchell, but was unable to score off of the penalty kick.

After the half-time break, a confused FC Tucson defense scored an own goal for Ventura. It marked the moment when FC Tucson lost control of the match. Even though the Fusion were limited to only three shots, FC Tucson was left to chase the game for long stretches.

It took a late-match penalty to give the Fusion the winner. Laurie Bell, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, easily beat Thompson with his kick from the spot.

It’s hard to put a good face on the performance. Not only was it the first home loss for FC Tucson, but the first two goals scored against the team at home. The normally productive Vance Rookwood and Odaine Sinclair were limited to only one shot on goal each. Schantz tried to look at the glass half-full.

“This might be the best thing that’s going to happen to us,” Schantz said. “Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.”

FC Tucson is still comfortably at the top of the table with 22 points, four clear of second place BYU. FC Tucson takes a road trip later this week to play against Southern California Seahorses on Thursday and OC Blues on Saturday.


Even with the poor performance, converting that second penalty kick would have put FC Tucson up 2–0 coming into the half. The player that missed that goal, Ricardo Velazco, was particularly hard on himself for that one.

“I had a bad day,” Velazco said. “It is what it is. We got to move on now. There’s nothing more I can really say about it.”

The Casa Grande native even took to Twitter to apologize.

And up I-10

Scott Morrison tied up the match for Arizona United SC with a 54th-minute strike. United is currently ninth in USL-Pro and travels to Sacramento on Thursday to play fifth-ranked Republic FC.

FC Tucson v Ventura County Fusion

Kino North Stadium

Attendance: 1098

  • Scoring summary
  • FCT - Connor Brandt (pk 16')
  • VCF - Ryan Felix (og 53')
  • VCF - Laurie Bell (pk 83')
  • Misconduct summary
  • VCF - Trey Mitchell (caution, 14')
  • FCT - Ricardo Velazco (caution, 45')
  • FCT - Austin Ledbetter (caution, 77')
  • VCF - Laurie Bell (caution, 78')
  • VCF - Brennan Livingston (caution, 85')
  • FC Tucson: Billy Thompson - Tim Harbison, Michael DeGraffenreidt, Ryan Felix (Santiago Velez 85'), Austin Ledbetter - Peter Kelly (Clark Phillips 66'), Max Ornstill, Connor Brandt (Otis Earle 73'), Ricardo Velazco, Tommy Ramos (Edgar Reyna 45') - Odaine Sinclair (Vance Rookwood 73')
  • Ventura County Fusion: Trey Mitchell (Kevin Corby 46') - Kip Colvey, Sterling Hancock, Javan Torre, James Kiffe - Mike Roman (Chase Minter 12'), Augustin Cazarez, Matt LaGrassa (Evan Keny-Guyer 74'), Laurie Bell, Ismaila Jome - Jordan Vale (Brennan Livingston 45')

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