Ricardo Velazco notches brace; David Clemens, Saeed Robinson and Isaac Ikyurav add goals.

Tucson, AZ (July 16, 2013) — Through the season’s ups and downs, FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz and his players have talked about reaching the team’s true potential. Following a 5-2 win over the Yucaipa All Stars, the club might be done “reaching.”

“I thought the first 30 minutes tonight were probably the best 30 minutes we played all season,” Schantz said. “The ball movement, spacing, and shape it was great.”

Schantz said he watched video from FC Tucson’s loss to the Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup to figure out how to improve the team’s performance heading into its final week.

Based on what the Dynamo did to knockout FC Tucson, Schantz said he had the outside backs play much higher and spread out his center backs to give midfielders Isaac Ikyurav and Ricardo Velazco more room. The move paid off almost immediately.

Within the match’s first 12 minutes, Ikyurav pounded the attacking right side of the pitch, creating three different scoring chances from the right side of the box. But despite FC Tucson’s dominance in possession, a momentary lapse in defense led to a Yucaipa goal to open the match’s scoring in the 14th minute.

But Yucaipa wouldn’t hold the lead very long. FC Tucson continued crashing the net and in the 19th minute, after a fabulous diving header from a Yucaipa defender to clear a shot off the line, David Clemens found the ball at his feet in front of the goal mouth and smashed it into the back of the net.

FC Tucson controlled the rest of the match.

Ikyurav drew a penalty in the box in the 32nd minute and Velazco converted the penalty kick to make the match 2-1. Then before the half, after Clemens hit the crossbar from just in front of the net, the ball eventually kicked out to Velazco near the right corner of the box before he buried it into the upper right 90.

“We did the same thing over and over again (in training) and just had to go with it,” Ikyurav said. “In the game we just had to do the same thing: getting wide when we have possession and collapsing when we lose the ball. It was just the work in training transitioning into the game and it worked for us perfectly. We just did exactly what the coaches wanted and I think that’s why we were so successful.”

Yucaipa’s Cody Shelton converted a penalty kick, his second goal of the night, just after the half to cut FC Tucson’s lead to one but that was the closest the club came to equalizing.

Saeed Robinson effectively put the match away with his 68th-minute goal. Then Ikyurav finally found the back of the net in the 85th minute after bringing down a 40-yard ball from Harbison and beating the goalkeeper 1v1.

“It’s great and for the fans it’s what we’re always looking to give them,” Ikyurav said. We have to let the fans know we’re with them (and it) doesn’t matter if it’s the last couple of games. … We’re going to come with the same energy and that’s pretty much what we’re about these last three games. We’ve still got one more and we’ll put a lot of energy out.”

FC Tucson extends its winning streak to three matches, which ties the club’s longest winning streak this season. Back in May FC Tucson went on a three-match win streak when it defeated Phoenix FC, Southern California Seahorses and the San Antonio Scorpions in consecutive matches.

FINAL MATCH STATISTICS

07.16.2013: Kino North Field 5 — 7:30 P.M.
Attendance: 476

FC TUCSON 5 – YUCAIPA ALL STARS 2

FCT:’19,23-David Clemens; ’33,9-Ricardo Velasco (PK);’45,9-Ricardo Velasco; ’68,5-Saeed Robinson; ’85,15-Isaac Ikyurav(19-Tim Harbison)
YAS: ’14,9-Cody Shelton;’52,9-Cody Shelton(PK)

FCT: 1-Mike Mauro; 19-Tim Harbison, 24-Ryan Felix, 2-Matt Escober, 17-Edgar Reyna(’45,13-Eli Galbraith-Knapp); 12-Max Ornstil, 25-Gabe Silveira(’57,15-Stephen Posa), 23-David Clemens(’80,14-Dakota Collins), 9-Ricardo Velazco(’57,4-Gavino Coranzo); 16-Isaac Ikyurav, 20-James Huffer(‘60,5-Saeed Robinson)

Coach: Rick Schantz

YAS: 1-Juan Ruano; 2-Pedro Rodriguez(’33,13-David Trevino,’75,18-George Rodriguez), 5-Shane Shelton, 3-Josh Sonnaca(‘,16-Maurice Uribe), 16-Maurice Johnson(’17,6-Dakota Shelton; ’87,21-Jesus Arelano); 8-Edgar Pedilla(’80,34-Menari Uribe), 7-James Ross(’83,17-Edwin), 10-Liam Muirhead(’84,24-Matthew Boyle), 9-Cody Shelton(’85,31-Gerardo Elizalde), 34-Menari Uribe(’17,14-Luis Arrelano,’51,2-Pedro Rodriguez),18-George Rodriguez(’19,24-Matthew Boyle,’33,22-Zach Sampson)

Booked
FCT — ’82,24-Ryan Felix
YAS — ’21,5-Shane Shelton;’35,22-Zach Sampson

Sent off
FCT —
YAS —

Statistics      FCT        YAS
Shots             18             6
Saves             2              6
Fouls              9             14
Corners         3              3
Offside          3              2