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FC Tucson's streak with Pearlman to be tested against Union Omaha

Visitors promise stingy defense & deadly striker Hurst

Interim coach Jonathan Pearlman’s undefeated record heading up FC Tucson is up for quite a test when the local soccer team hosts Union Omaha at Kino North Stadium on Saturday night.

Omaha is the number one team in USL League One and has only lost a single match, a one-goal loss to Forward Madison at the end of May. They played Madison again last week and got out with a tie.

The visiting team will boast of the stingiest defense in the league, allowing only eight goals this season (no other team is lower that 12). In the match against Madison, they still only had a single goal scored on them despite using back up keeper Kevin Piedrahita. Usual starter Rashid Nuhu is second in the league in shutouts, bested only by ex-FC Tucson and current Greenville keeper Dallas Jaye.

The team usually plays with two forwards up top, St. Louis-born Devin Boyce and one-time Everton trialist Greg Hurst. Hurst has been by far the most dangerous of the two. The Scottish forward has scored eight this season, including one against FC Tucson in their win when the teams last met a month ago.

Despite how strong Omaha has been, FC Tucson has a lot of reason to be optimistic about a good result at Kino. The team has yet to lose under the interim-coachship of Pearlman, and performed well against Chattanooga, a team that’s second Omaha on the table only by goal differential. The team’s comeback has come with only one major change in the line-up, the addition of Tobenna Uzo.

There will be one change in the back for the home team. A red card issued to Maxi Schenfeld in the closing moments of the last match means that the Chilean defender will not be available. The often difficult-role-to-fill of left back will likely be taken up by Jordan Pena with a player like Manuel Ferriol available to fill in for Pena in the midfield.

The match starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kino North Stadium.

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FC Tucson

The last meeting between FC Tucson and Union Omaha: a 1 - 0 win for Union in Nebraska on June 26