FC Tucson men: Instant goal, just add Weir
Home team forward scores record-setting tally in 7 seconds, as Los Tucsonenses run together, won together
Union Omaha’s Rashid Nuhu is arguably the top goalkeeper in USL League One. Things like what happened to him on Sunday night just aren’t supposed to happen.
FC Tucson’s Donny Toia passed the ball back to Louie Pérez right on the opening whistle. Pérez saw his teammate Tarn Weir streaking up the left side of the field. Weir caught up to the ball in the box and touched it past Nuhu, who definitely was not ready for it.
The whole sequence took seven seconds, a league record. The previous quickest goal for FC Tucson was one scored by Tate Schmitt in 2016, who currently plays for Real Salt Lake.
It must be noted that it took a lot more than seven seconds from the scheduled kick-off time for the goal to be scored. Lightning prevented the match from starting until 9:40 p.m., more than 2.5 hours from when the game was supposed to start. The match was played in a constant light drizzle.
It was not the only delay. Lightning in the area caused the game to be delayed again after the 35th minute.
The local soccer crew kept Omaha off the scoreboard for the interrupted first half. Daniel Bedoya entered the match as a positive force for the second half. Bringing the Colombian midfielder into the game paid off in the 62nd minute when his left-footed shot beat Nuhu to double the lead.
Donny Toia had the assist on that goal and was a constant problem for Nuhu and the Omaha back line. He finally got into the back of the net when Kaelon Fox, who was out on wide right, crossed the ball into the middle and the Tucson native tipped it past Nuhu in minute 76.
The end of the twice-delayed match, played under what was a happy rain for the locals, finally happened at 12:15 a.m. Monday morning. A smattering of staffers, members of the press and injured team members were the only ones there to cheer on the win.
If one were to look at the score lines for FC Tucson only a couple of weeks ago, it would have been hard to argue that they could have not only beaten the top team in the league, but done so with such a definitive margin. Coach Jon Pearlman has long argued that the team had the players to put on a performance like this, it just took a while for the pieces to come together.
“I think the reason we’ve been able to compete is because the group hadn’t lost its hope,” said Pearlman. “I don’t think this was a group that was hanging its head in any moments in any of the games…this wasn’t a group that was shouting at each other. It’s hard to do in those tough moments.”
With seven matches left, two more than many teams in the league, there is an off chance that FC Tucson could even get into first place. Pearlman’s goal, however, is to win the majority of remaining matches, which would be enough to get into the playoffs.
The team’s next match is on Friday against Tormenta FC in Statesboro, Ga.