FC Tucson

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FC Tucson.jpg
Full name FC Tucson
Founded 2010
Stadium Kino Sports Complex
North Stadium[1]
Ground Capacity 2,900[2]
Managing Partner United States Greg Foster
Head Coach United States Rick Schantz
League USL Premier Development League
2014 1st, Mountain Division
Playoffs: Conference Finals
Website Club home page
Current season

FC Tucson is an American semi-professional soccer club in Tucson, Arizona competing in the Mountain Division of the USL Premier Development League (PDL) Western Conference. Organized in 2010, Tucson first took the field in March 2011.[3]

Coached by former Tucson Amigos player Rick Schantz, Tucson plays home games at the 2,900-seat Kino Sports Complex North Stadium constructed in 2013.[1][2][4][5]

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

FC Tucson was founded in 2010 to bring preseason Major League Soccer events to Tucson and generate interest in a new soccer club.[3] The organization first fielded a team on March 4, 2011 against the New York Red Bulls reserves in the 2011 Desert Cup, a 1–3 loss.[6] The club's first goal was scored by former Pima Community College and Salpointe Catholic High School player Fernando Gauna after entering the match as a substitute. Later in 2011 Tucson competed against various teams from the region in a loosely organized exhibition league.[7][8] Their first match following the Desert Cup took place on May 13, a 7–2 victory over Yavapai FC.[9]

PDL debut[edit]

On December 15, 2011, FC Tucson announced its move to the PDL.[10] The 2012 team placed second in the Western Conference Southwest Division with a record of 9 wins, 3 losses and 4 ties, riding a ten-game unbeaten streak (7 wins, 3 ties) from May 12 until June 30th.[11] Tucson lost 2–1 to Seattle Sounders FC U-23 in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.[12] In 2013, Tucson did not qualify for the postseason, finishing fifth in the Southwest with 5 Wins, 5 Losses and 4 Ties.[13]

2013 U.S. Open Cup[edit]

In May 2013 FC Tucson notched back-to-back victories over professional clubs to reach the third round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In the tournament's first round Tucson defeated Phoenix FC of the USL Pro 2–1 on an injury-time game winner scored by Connor Bevans.[14][15][16][17] Next they defeated the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL in a 4–3 penalty shoot-out to break a 2–2 tie.[18][19][20][21][22] The run ended in Houston where they fell 2–0 to the MLS Dynamo.[23][24][25] As the first ever PDL club to defeat professional clubs in back-to-back matches, Tucson won the full $15,000 prize awarded to the PDL club with the best Open Cup finish. (Three other PDL teams also reached the third round.)[26][27][28]

2014 Mountain Division Champions[edit]

FC Tucson won its first division title in 2014 with 11 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses in league play. The club recorded its first ever playoff victory with a 2–1 win over the Los Angeles Misioneros in Las Vegas.[29] The best regular-season record in the Western Conference earned Tucson the right to host the conference final four at Kino North Stadium where they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 1–0 in the conference semifinals, on a stoppage time goal by Juan Sebastian De Rada. Tucson's postseason run came to an end in the Western Conference Championship game with a 3–0 loss to the Kitsap Pumas.[30] Team captain Ricardo Velazco, a midfielder, was named PDL Young (U21) Player of the Year. Billy Thompson was named PDL Goalkeeper of the Year. Both players were named to the All-League and All-Western Conference Teams.[31][32]

Badge[edit]

FC Tucson's badge was designed by Erik von Weber prior to the 2011 Desert Cup. Similar in appearance to the traditional soccer shield, the badge is instead shaped like an arrowhead in homage to Tucson's pre-Columbian history.[33] The badge was simplified in 2012 with the removal of five diamonds which arced above the crest to represent the major mountain ranges of the Tucson valley but had been confused with stars, typically used in football badges to represent titles won.[34]

Stadium[edit]

Kino Sports Complex North Stadium (2014–)
Kino North Stadium was dedicated on October 30, 2013.[35][36] The stadium seats 2,900 with 1,800 in a partially covered grandstand on the west sideline.[37][5] The stadium's construction was part of a larger package of soccer facilities improvements to the Kino Sports Complex approved by Pima County's Board of Supervisors in April 2012.[38] FC Tucson defeated MLS Chivas USA 1-0 on November 15, 2013 in the first game held at the stadium.[4][39]

Kino Sports Complex North Field #5 (2012–2013)
Field #5 was one of five Major League Baseball spring-training practice fields converted for soccer prior to Tucson's first PDL season. Seating was initially limited to an 850-seat grandstand on the west sideline. Bleachers behind the north goal were added later, raising capacity to slightly over 1,000.[1]

Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium (2011)
In its first-ever season of play, FC Tucson made use of Murphey Field, home to the University of Arizona women's soccer team.[40]

Club Culture[edit]

Supporters[edit]

Members of the local American Outlaws chapter organized an FC Tucson supporters group called the Cactus Pricks after FC Tucson's 2011 Desert Cup appearance.[41]

Rivalries[edit]

In 2014 FC Tucson announced the Southwestern Showdown, an annual series with Albuquerque Sol FC, a 2014 PDL expansion team placed along with FC Tucson in the Western Conference's newly-formed Mountain Division. The club earning the most league points in three regular-season meetings is awarded "The Golden Rattler" trophy for the following year.[42]

Record[edit]

Year Division League Record Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2012 4 USL PDL 9–3–4 2nd, Southwest Conference Semi-Finals Did not qualify
2013 4 USL PDL 5–5–4 5th, Southwest Did not qualify Third Round
2014 4 USL PDL 11–2–1 1st, Mountain Conference Finals Did not qualify

Honors[edit]

  • USL PDL Mountain Division Champions 2014

Player Honors[edit]

Year Pos Player Country Honor
2012 D Conor Spence United States USA All-Conference Team (Western)
2014 M Ricardo Velazco United States USA PDL Young (U21) Player of the Year
All-League Team
All-Conference Team (Western)
2014 G Billy Thompson United States USA PDL Goalkeeper of the Year
All-League Team
All-Conference Team (Western)

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of May 1, 2014[43][44][45][46]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8 Colombia MF Andres Acosta
21 United States FW Dan Antoniuk
8 United States MF Conner Brandt
11 United States DF Michael DeGraffenreidt
7 Bolivia MF Juan Sebastian De Rada
2 England DF Otis Earle
24 United States MF Ryan Felix
13 United States DF Eli Galbraith-Knapp
15 United States MF Ivan Gutierrez
19 United States DF Tim Harbison
5 United States DF Peter Kelly
6 United States DF Austin Ledbetter
No. Position Player
18 United States GK Kendall McIntosh
16 United States DF Trevor Morley
14 United States FW Clark Phillips
22 Italy MF Martino Rapella
17 United States DF Edgar Reyna
23 Jamaica MF Vance Rookwood
3 Jamaica FW Odaine Sinclair
1 United States GK Billy Thompson
9 United States FW Ricardo Velasco
25 United States MF Santiago Velez
10 United States FW Christian Volesky

Current staff[edit]

  • United States Greg Foster - Managing Partner
  • United States Rick Schantz - Managing Partner & Head Coach
  • United States Jonathan Pearlman - Managing Partner & Technical Director
  • United States Chris Keeney - Managing Partner & CBO
  • United States Kate Norton - Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations
  • United States Brian Murray - Team Administrator
  • Philippines Henry Brauner - Assistant Coach
  • United States Jeff Rogers - Assistant Coach
  • United States Joe Caito - Corporate Sponsorship Liaison
  • United States Kevin Brady - Box Office Manager

Notable former players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vitu, Teya (June 1, 2013). "A Bright Future for Soccer in Tucson". Zocalo Magazine. 
  2. ^ a b "Non-League Schedule Completed". fctucson.com. May 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Garcia, José E. (May 5, 2012). "Tucson's soccer venture kicks off with FC Tucson". The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ). Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Ord, David (November 16, 2013). "FC Tucson opens stadium with win over MLS team". Arizona Daily Star. 
  5. ^ a b "2013 FC Tucson Fall Showcase Announced". fctucson.com (FC Tucson). October 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Red Bulls ease past FC Tucson, 3-1 in 2011 Desert Cup match". New York Red Bulls. March 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/sports/report/042511_fc_tucson_schedule/fc-tucson-releases-schedule/
  8. ^ http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/sports/report/051911_fc_tucson/fc-tucson-discover-joys-playing-new-league/
  9. ^ http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/sports/report/051411_fc_tucson/tucsonenses-trounce-yavapai/
  10. ^ "FC Tucson Joins USL PDL". pdl.uslsoccer.com (United Soccer Leagues). December 15, 2011. 
  11. ^ "FC Tucson Full Schedule 2012". uslsoccer.com. United Soccer Leagues. 
  12. ^ "FC Tucson at Sounders FC U23 1–2". pdl.uslsoccer.com (United Soccer Leagues). July 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ Ord, Dave (July 28, 2013). "FC Tucson: Soccer club revels in a season of firsts, with more to come". Arizona Daily Star. 
  14. ^ "2013 US Open Cup First Round: FC Tucson rallies past USL Pro Phoenix in final seven minutes for upset". TheCup.us. May 15, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tucson Grabs Late Winner: Upsets Phoenix FC with 2-1 victory in Open Cup". United Soccer Leagues (USL). May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Match Report – FC Tucson V. Phoenix FC Wolves". AZKicksIt.com. May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ord, Dave (May 15, 2011). "FC Tucson 2, Phoenix FC 1: Hero scores twice for grandma". Arizona Daily Star. 
  18. ^ "Tucson Grabs Victory In Shootout, Defeats San Antonio to advance to third round of Open Cup". United Soccer Leagues (USL). May 21, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ Ord, Dave (May 21, 2011). "FC Tucson defeats San Antonio in penalty kicks, advances in US Open Cup". Arizona Daily Star. 
  20. ^ Bosch, H. Jose (May 21, 2013). "The Run Continues". fctucson.com. FC Tucson. 
  21. ^ Hockman, Chris (May 22, 2013). "2013 US Open Cup Second Round: FC Tucson Ousts Another Pro Club with PK Win at San-Antonio". TheCup.us. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ Prezelski, Ted (May 21, 2011). "FC Tucson has Scorpions for Breakfast in 2OT PK Win". Tucson Sentinel. 
  23. ^ Bosch, H. Jose. "Houston 2-0 FC Tucson". fctucson.com (FC Tucson). 
  24. ^ "Game Report: Houston vs Tucson". mlssoccer.com. May 29, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  25. ^ "2013 US Open Cup Third Round: Houston Dynamo end FC Tucson run with 2-0 win". TheCup.us. May 30, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  26. ^ "FC Tucson Ends Historic Run". AZKicksIt.com. May 29, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  27. ^ Ord, Dave (May 29, 2011). "Houston Dynamo ends FC Tucson's run in U.S. Open Cup". Arizona Daily Star. 
  28. ^ "Tucson's Historic Run Ends". uslsoccer.com. United Soccer Leagues. May 29, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Tucson Advances Into Western Semifinals". United Soccer Leagues (USL. July 19, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Kitsap Defeats Tucson In Western Final". United Soccer Leagues (USL. July 26, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  31. ^ "PDL All-League Team Announced". United Soccer Leagues (USL). July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ "PDL Award Winners Announced". United Soccer Leagues (USL). August 2, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  33. ^ Prezelski, Ted (June 10, 2011). "Yavapai looking for better result against FC Tucson". TucsonSentinel.com. 
  34. ^ Prezelski, Ted (May 23, 2013). "Post Game Cigarette". www.mindingthe.net. 
  35. ^ Join Our Groundbreaking!
  36. ^ ‘This is your house and we’re going to protect it’
  37. ^ "The North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex". fctucson.com. March 6, 2013. 
  38. ^ FC Tucson Finds Home At Kino Sports Complex
  39. ^ FC Tucson 1-0 Chivas USA
  40. ^ Prezelski, Ted (April 25, 2011). "FC Tucson releases schedule". TucsonSentinel.com. 
  41. ^ "The Cactus Pricks—About". cactuspricks.com. 
  42. ^ "“Southwestern Showdown” Begins Tonight". FCTucson.com. June 6, 2013. 
  43. ^ http://fctucson.com/team/players-staff/players/
  44. ^ FC Tucson Completes Preseason Singings
  45. ^ FC Tucson Signs Six More Players
  46. ^ Preseason Invitees Signed to Roster

External links[edit]