Team officially finishes second in first-ever PDL season.
Tucson, AZ (Saturday, July 14, 2012) — Friday the 13th turned out to be a night of horror for FC Tucson as the team dropped its final regular-season game, 6-0, to OC Blue Star.
“We’ll try to put things in perspective,” said FC Tucson General Manager and Associate Head Coach Jon Pearlman. “This is a singular black mark on an otherwise fantastic regular season campaign but it’s a black mark. … We’re extremely disappointed.”
The start of the game foreshadowed the problems FC Tucson would have all evening. Blue Star’s Andrew Craven broke through the FC Tucson defense for back-to-back break away chances within the game’s first three minutes. In both instances it was Craven’s mishits that prevented easy goals.
Ten minutes later FC Tucson wouldn’t be so lucky. Orange County’s Enrique Cardenas found his way through the defense and chipped the ball over a diving Brendan Roslund before easily tapping it over the goal line for the game’s first score.
Then FC Tucson’s night got worse.
Just four minutes after the first goal, Craven found redemption, converting his chance from the right side of the box after splitting the defense again. Six minutes after that goal, Cardenas again found himself one-on-one with Roslund and slipped the ball through his legs for Blue Star’s third goal in 13 minutes.
That deficit alone would’ve been tough to overcome, but things didn’t get better. In the 37th minute Craven got behind the defense again, maneuvered his way around Roslund, and slotted his shot from the far right side of the box into a wide open net.
FC Tucson’s Conor Spence came painfully close to clearing the ball off the line but it was too late. He and the ball went into the side of the net.
“I think mentally we checked out,” Pearlman said. “As much as players and coaches try to have a great pride in taking the field, sometimes after a long season you want to take a moment off. OC Blue Star is an excellent side … They had some revenge on their mind and took advantage of some great finishing and timely goalkeeping.”
David Ponce and Blake Wise added two more goals in the second half for Orange County but by that time the game become more about survival for FC Tucson and leaving without an injury rather than winning. Heading into the game, several players were either sick or injured. One, Donny Toia, was serving a game suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. In all, FC Tucson had one healthy sub.
“Those are excuses,” Pearlman said. “And we don’t make excuses.”
The night wasn’t a complete negative. Ricardo Velasco continues to be a spark at the top and on a different night he could’ve scored two or three goals with some of the many chances he created for himself.
But the biggest positive of the evening is that it was the final game of the regular season. Nothing was on the line. Nothing was lost except for a game. FC Tucson will rest over the weekend and return to training on Monday morning in preparation for the franchise’s first-ever postseason game on Friday, July 20.
“Nothing was done today that can’t be undone in a solid week of training and by having a fantastic performance (in the playoffs),” Pearlman said. “So we’ll focus on that rather than this.”
’13: OC Blue Star-Enrique Cardenas (Charlie Pettys)
’17: OC Blue Star-Andrew Craven (Enrique Cardenas)
’22: OC Blue Star-Enrique Cardenas (Andrew Craven)
’37: OC Blue Star-Andrew Craven (Enrique Cardenas)
’56: OC Blue Star-Blake Wise (Grady Howe)
’71: OC Blue Star- David Ponce (Reed McKenna)