FC Tucson defeats FC Hasental 3-1
TUCSON (FC Tucson) FC Tucson’s 3-1 win over National Premier Soccer League side FC Hasental didn’t mean anything in the standings. But for two players on the pitch, the match was an opportunity to shine.
Josh Phillips (13th minute) and Ivan Gutierrez (65th minute) notched their first tallies of their FC Tucson careers. Following the match neither player looked as if he could contain his excitement.
“It feels amazing, man,” Gutierrez said. “Scoring my first goal for FC Tucson is amazing. … I’m lucky.”
Added Phillips: “I was a little bit in shock when I first scored as a centerback. I didn’t really know exactly how to celebrate but running over and seeing all the fans cheering was awesome.”
These non-league matches give non-starters a chance to prove themselves to the coaching staff. While both Gutierrez and Phillips were excited, both tempered that excitement with the understanding they have a lot more work to do.
“(I just need) to turn around and forget today and work as hard as I can tomorrow,” Phillips said. “Nothing matters after today.”
For Head Coach Rick Schantz, nothing groundbreaking came out of the match. But, the team’s defensive shape in the midfield was still a primary concern.
“For a lot of these guys, that was their first intense game in awhile. And after 25 minutes, they were a little bit gassed and sucking wind,” Schantz said.
Schantz pointed out that after several subs the second half improved. He also added that the focus will be on how quickly the team can double team in the midfield and create turnovers.
FC Tucson will continue league play this Saturday, May 24 at Real Colorado. It will be the first meeting between the two PDL clubs. The Foxes moved from the Heartland Division into the Mountain Division with FC Tucson.