First time in 2013 FC Tucson is shutout in PDL play.

By H. Jose Bosch

Tucson, AZ (June 8, 2013) —By the end of FC Tucson’s 1-0 loss to division-leading Fresno Fuego, FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz’s analysis was to the point.

“They were better than we were,” Schantz said.

FC Tucson wasn’t playing OC Blues Strikers anymore and any good feelings about a 9-1 win from Thursday night vanished when the final whistle blew.

Fresno nearly scored less than three minutes into the match but midfielder Conner Brandt threw his chest into the shot and cleared the ball off the line. Moments later Brandt had a free kick outside of the box and curled it at the left upper 90 but drilled the crossbar.

It would be the best chance FC Tucson would have the entire first half. The Fuego neutralized FC Tucson with physical play and timely interceptions. But according to Schantz, FC Tucson players didn’t help themselves with some of their decision making.

“What we had Thursday night was everybody was clicking,” Schantz said. “Tonight we were two passes when we needed to be three and we were one when we needed to be two.”

Schantz also said the players began responding to adversity by doing too much on their own and in some cases holding on to the ball too long. FC Tucson defender Travis Campbell said that the officiating may have also affected the team’s play.

“I think our team started playing the referees and their team instead of just playing our game,” Campbell said. “We just have to keep playing the game and not let it affect us. Mentally it takes you out of the play for that half second you’re yelling at the ref and I do it, too. As a whole, we have to work on it.”

Goalkeeper Michael D’Arrigo helped keep the game tied at zero when he made point-blank saves 1v1 within five minutes of each other and neither team had a lead heading into the half.

Then in the 56th minute, following another great save from D’Arrigo, Fresno’s Paul Islas knocked in the rebound to score the game-winning goal for the Fuego.

“It’s kind of a bummer to come from a 9-1 win, such a high, and then come out here and lose 1-0,” Brandt said. “Obviously it’s a better team but nine out of 10 times we beat that team and unfortunately today was the one time we lost.”



06.08.2013: Kino North Field 5 — 7:30 P.M.
Attendance: 1015

FF: ’56, 10-Paul Islas

FCT: 0- Michael Darrigo; 19- Tim Harrison (’82 24- Ryan Felix), 21- Greg Carter, 6- Travis Campbell, 17- Edgar Reyna; 16- Isaac Ikuriyau, 13- Eli Gabbraith-Knapp (’80 8- Conner Bevans), 25- Gabe Silveira, 11- Connor Brandt; 23- David Clemens(’45, 9- Ricardo Velasco), 14- Dakota Collins(’45, 5- Saeed Robinson).

Coach: Rick Schantz

FF: 0- Beau Diaz; 12- Alfred Edmonds, 3- Eddie Gonzalez, 4- Nick Murphy, 17- Trevor Spurgeon; 22- Frrid Celosmonovic (’77 2-Frankie Beauchame), 8- Gaston Cignetti (’69 16- Justin Finch), 10-Paul Islas, 14- Steven Sanchez (’72 11-Gustavo Silva); 13- Dylan Murphy( ’57 9- Robert Garcia), 6- Tyler Reinndolt

Coach: Scott Alcorn

FCT — ’50, 5- Saeed Robinson
FF — ’41, 8- Gaston Cignetti; ’73 22- Frrid Celosmonovic; ’84 2-Frankie Beauchame

Sent off

Statistics      FCT        FF
Shots              14          13
Saves               4           8
Fouls              18          11
Corners           5           2
Offside            2           2

Post-match quotes

Rick Schantz

On the team’s performance
I thought we had some moments early and the guys were playing well, it was unfortunate that the guys didn’t have the same type of energy as we did on Thursday. Maybe that’s the problem is 48 hours ago we had a game. Our schedule has not been kind to these guys, but I’m not going to give them an easy out. They’ve played more difficult games than this.

On how the team played
Well what we had Thursday night is everybody was clicking and tonight we were two passes when we should have been 3 and we were one when we should have been 2, and then once we start to get a little bit of failure or things start to struggle it gets to individualized and the guys try to start doing things on their own and I think that’s where it all fell apart.

On the “chess match” with Fresno’s coach
I thought the back 4 were really good. Fuego is a pretty good team at going forward and they let their outside back go high there in the first half and we adjusted to a 4-4-2 in the second half he switched to a 4-2-3-1 and then I switch it back to a 4-5-1. It was a chest match and I give him credit because he made all the right moves.

On if he felt the team would have late-match magic again
We have had that kind of luck in the past and the guys have really dug deep and gotten that kind of stuff done. But I feel like the guys weren’t committed to go forward until there was 30 seconds. And unfortunately Isaac didn’t have the same game as he did on Thursday and Ricardo gone with the suspension, I don’t think he had the same impact. And Saeed coming back from being gone for a week with his sick father, so when they get back we get back I feel like we will click again.

Connor Brandt

On the team’s perfomance
I think they are obviously a bit more physical and they had quicker players than the OC blue team we say the other day. Its kinda tough going from a 9-1 win, such a high to such a low. Obviously it’s a better team but I think 9 out of 10 times we would beat that team. Unfortunately today was the one time we lost to them.

On the team’s urgency
I think once they got the goal we finally started playing with a sense of urgency. Where as we need to come out with that sense of urgency. Obviously seconf half, we were in their half the whole time and we had opportunities we just couldn’t finish.

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