Wildcats to face Huskies in final home stretch
Plus: Tucsonenses to San Antonio and remembering Winston Griffiths
The University of Arizona Wildcats soccer team host the University of Washington Huskies on Friday at 7 p.m. in a match at Mulcahy Stadium.
This begins the final stretch of the season, which includes games at home against the Washington State Cougars and Arizona's all-sport nemesis, the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Last weekend, Washington tied Oregon and dropped one to Oregon State 4-1.
Scorpions, but not for breakfast
The San Antonio Scorpions are a new team, scheduled to play their first game in the North American Soccer League next year, so fans would be forgiven for not being familiar with them. However, they may have two players familiar to FC Tucson fans.
Philippe Garre and Dominic Papa were among the two players who were at a team tryout in Casa Grande this week. The tryout was organized by Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson. Hankinson got in touch with FC Tucson coaches Johnathan Pearlman and Rick Schantz and asked for suggestions on what Arizona players deserve an audition.
Both did well: Papa was asked to come to a combine to be held later this year and Garre is on the list as an alternate.
"I'm not fully in game shape. I haven't been playing in months, only coaching." said Papa.
Whatever lack of fitness issues he thinks he has, he impressed Hankinson, whose experience includes coaching Major League Soccer teams Tampa Bay Mutiny and Colorado Rapids.
One issue for Papa: He is one semester from graduating from Arizona State University. If he makes the team, he'd have a bit of a conflict.
Hmm ... playing soccer or going to ASU. Is that really that hard a choice to make?
So long, Fanna
Major League Soccer has been running a feature on their website counting down their top 50 moments from MLS Cups. An interesting one was added Wednesday: a near-golden goal from Winston Griffiths in the 2002 MLS Cup that pitted a scrappy New England Revolution squad against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
His moment came in a "golden goal" overtime period. New England's Steve Ralston took a corner kick that looked intended for Taylor Twellman. The ball passed Twellman and out of the penalty area right to Griffiths's foot. He took a quick shot that was deflected by Galaxy player Ezra Hendrickson and out of the reach of the Galaxy keeper. Just as it looked like a sure goal, the ball bounced off the crossbar. A few inches lower, Griffiths would have been the hero of that year's championship game. Minutes later, the Galaxy's Carlos Ruiz scored the winner.
It's odd to call a miss a "top moment," but there was a good reason to feature Griffiths: He died on Sunday at his home in Jamaica after an illness. He was 33.
Winston "Fanna" Griffiths played for three MLS teams: MetroStars, New England and Los Angeles, and made 28 appearances for the Jamaican national team.
Still, he'll best be remembered by fans as the guy who almost did it.