FC Tucson tops New England in midweek footy contest
Knight earns local soccer side's first clean sheet of the season
Despite FC Tucson recording 17 shots, only one found home on Wednesday night. That’s all that was needed as the team downed New England Revolution II at Kino North Stadium.
Pressure earned the home side an early corner kick that Elivelton, a Brazilian player who goes by a single name, redirected with a header past Revs II goalkeeper Joe Rice.
Although Revs II responded well and had a few sallies up field, FC Tucson was still able to keep possession for most of the half.
FC Tucson started the second half much the same, but failed to score a goal. The Revs developed more urgency as the half wore on, especially since evening the scoreline seemed so simple mathwise. FC Tucson responded with a more defensive shape.
That defense wasn’t perfect and mistakes led to one late on-field argument between defenders Derrick Silva and Niall Logue. Excellent goalkeeping saved the soccer team, however. Amahl Knight, the Jamaican loanee from San Diego Loyal, made a rare appearance between the pipes and ended the night with three saves and FC Tucson’s first shut-out of the season.
Late attempts by both Azaad Liadi and Miguel Ferriol, substitutes that came in for the last 20 minutes of the match, failed to widen the lead. In the end it made no difference as a frustrated Revolution side left the field with their sixth loss of the season.
FC Tucson will have a quick turnaround as they will face last year’s champion North Texas on Saturday. FC Tucson was beaten by them 2 – 0 last Saturday.
Wednesday night was FC Tucson’s third win of the season. Amateur sports pundits like to look at patterns. Was it because of home field advantage? Was a particular player on the field? What was the weather like? Phase of the moon, perhaps?
Well, in this case, all three wins came against MLS affiliates. Coach John Galas isn’t looking for some existential reason for that.
“I don’t know. At this point, I don’t care. We’ll take the wins,” he said. “Sometimes there’s younger players, sometimes there’s a mix. Against New England, we matched up well.”
The “two” teams, affiliates of MLS sides, have top quality young players but they are still young players. New England has a mix of academy players and players with first team experience, but some inexperience showed in defensive errors that created openings for FC Tucson. Both of the Florida teams that FC Tucson faced, Orlando City B and Fort Lauderdale SC, had teenaged players. The youthful mistakes showed in the Fort Lauderdale match when two players born during the George W. Bush administration got ejected for dangerous play.
The only MLS affiliate they haven’t beaten is this Saturday’s opponent, North Texas SC.
Who is that guy?
Justin Rennicks played two seasons for the University of Indiana and scored nine goals for the team. He left college early and signed with the New England Revolution. He made three appearances, but spent most of last season on loan to North Carolina FC.
He made his first appearance for New England Revolution II last night and managed two shots on goal.
Not the worst debut, but if you look at the league’s account of the match, he is just listed as number 12.
I guess they don’t remember how good he was at Indiana.