Loss is first at home for FC Tucson, snaps 10-game unbeaten streak

Tucson, AZ (Saturday, June 30, 2012) — FC Tucson was already facing a challenge when first-place Ventura County came to Tucson. But in its 2-0 loss, the team faced a second opponent: themselves.

“Right now we’re our own worst enemy,” said FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz. “We’re making mistakes and that’s what a good team does: they punish you when you make mistakes.”

In the 34th minute, Ventura County’s Frankie Lopez chipped in a ball from right to left into the box. Fusion defender Mickey Daly streaked down the left side of the box unmarked, and after the ball bounced twice, Daly struck it into the back of the net before it landed a third time.

Daly reveled in the sudden quietness of the home crowd of 827 and even Tebowed in front of the booing masses.

Ventura County seemed to take control of the game from there, finishing the first half strong and with a 1-0 lead. But FC Tucson went back on the attack in the second half and very nearly equalized the game.

In the 65th minute Max Alvarez sent in a perfect cross right in front of the goalmouth. Conor Spence was there for what looked like a sure goal, but his shot sailed up and over the crossbar. The opportunity to change the momentum of the game had come and gone.

“This has been our problem all season long,” Schantz said. “When we get chances we’re not putting them away at a high enough percentage rate”

The missed header would be FC Tucson’s last serious scoring opportunity. The Fusion tightened up their play and dominated possession, constantly putting the FC Tucson defense back on its heels. Ventura County finally broke through in the 75th minute when Chris Tsonis’ header beat the diving Brendan Roslund.

“They came out with a little chip on their shoulder and you could tell that they were looking for a little revenge for what we did to them at their place,” Dom Papa said. “It’s one of those games that if we don’t finish our chances early, we’re going to be down.”

The loss is FC Tucson’s first at home this season, ending a 10-game unbeaten streak that had stretched back to May 5. The team remains in second place behind Ventura County with 24 points. The Fusion extend their first-place lead and now sit comfortably at the top of the table with 32 points.

“This is not the end of the world,” Papa said. “It’s just a lost game. We dropped three points here but it doesn’t mean we can’t make it up in another place.”

Goals:
’34: Ventura County-Mickey Daly
’77: Ventura County-Chris Tsonis

Cards:
’19: Ventura County-Rodrigo Lopez (Yellow)
’57: Ventura County-Ivan Mirkovic (Yellow)
’89: Ventura County-Chris Tsonis (Yellow)
’89: FC Tucson-Donny Toia (Yellow)

Starters
FC Tucson
GK Brendan Roslund
M Reid Schmitt
D Conor Spence
M Nick Marshall
F Donny Toia
F Max Alvarez
D Mike Kraus
M Dom Papa
M Aaron Long
M Eli Galbraith-Knapp
M James Cohn

Ventura County Fusion
GK Eric Smannon
D Mickey Daly
D Korey Kindle
D Peter McGlynn
D Chris Widdy
M James Kiffe
M Frankie Lopez
M Rodrigo Lopez
M Ivan Mirkovic
M Gyasi Zardes
F Travis Bowen

About FC Tucson
FC Tucson, established in 2010, is committed to bringing the highest caliber of competitive soccer to Tucson and establishing a successful and long-lasting source of pride for city, county, state and country. FC Tucson owns FC Tucson Soccer, Tucson’s top-level soccer team and the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, a Major League Soccer pre-season tournament. Our owners, coaches, players and staff will play to win in sport, business and community connection. We recognize that our quality, commitment and passion for the game will guide our success and establish deep bonds with our stakeholders as we strive to be recognized and respected locally, nationally and internationally. To stay up to date on what is going on with FC Tucson, check out the teams website at www.fctucson.com. You can also visit the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FCTUCSON and follow all of the news related to FC Tucson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FC_Tucson.