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 Jon Pearlman
Head Coach Jon Pearlman
League Premier Development League
2016 1st, Southwest Division
Playoffs: Conference Finals
Website www.fctucson.com

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

Tucson plays their home games at the 2,900-seat Kino Sports Complex North Stadium constructed in 2013.[1][2][4][5]

2016 Season results[edit]

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup[edit]

In its third U.S. Open Cup appearance in four years, Tucson defeated San Nicolas FC 3–0 in the first round but lost to in-state rival Arizona United SC 5–0 in the second.

Premier Development League[edit]

Mountain Division standings[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 FC Tucson 14 11 2 1 38 12 +26 35 Advance to Western Conference Championship
2 San Diego Zest FC 14 8 5 1 27 12 +15 29 Advance to Western Conference Divisional Qualifiers
3 FC Golden State Force 14 8 2 4 38 23 +15 26
4 Ventura County Fusion 14 7 3 4 24 18 +6 24
5 Southern California Seahorses 14 2 3 9 17 24 −7 9
6 Orange County Blues U-23 14 2 2 10 13 38 −25 8
7 LA Laguna FC[a] 14 2 1 11 17 44 −27 4
Source: Premier Development League
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
  1. ^ LA Laguna FC had three points deducted for not having a proper venue.

██ In position for division title     ██ In position for playoff berth

Results summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
14 11 2 1 38 12  +26 35 4 2 1 19 7  +12 7 0 0 19 5  +14
Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Ground A A H A A H H A A A H H H H
Result W W D W W D W W W W W L W W

Last updated: July 16, 2016.
Source: FC Tucson: Full Schedule. United Soccer Leagues (USL).[6]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.



Beginnings: 2010–2011[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 3–1 loss.[7] 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.[8] Their first match following the Desert Cup took place on May 13, a 7–2 victory over Yavapai FC.[9] On December 15, 2011, FC Tucson announced its move to the PDL.[10]

Early PDL and Open Cup success: 2012–2013[edit]

In its first season of play in the United Soccer League's Premier Development League (USL PDL) 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 30.[11] In postseason play Tucson lost 2–1 to Seattle Sounders FC U-23 in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.[12] Defender Conor Spence was named to the All-Western Conference Team.[13][14] The club was named 2012 PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year.[15][16]

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.[17][18][19][20] Next they defeated the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL in a 4–3 penalty shoot-out to break a 2–2 tie.[21][22][23][24][25] The run ended in Houston where they fell 2–0 to the MLS Dynamo.[26][27][28] 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.)[29][30][31] Tucson did not qualify for the PDL postseason in 2013, finishing fifth in the Southwest with 5 Wins, 5 Losses and 4 Ties.[32]

Mountain Division Dominance: 2014–2015[edit]

In 2014, competing in the newly created Mountain Division, FC Tucson won its first division title 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.[33] 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.[34] 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.[35][36] FC Tucson was named PDL Organization of the Year.[37]

Tucson claimed its second-straight Mountain Division title in 2015 with a record of 8–2–4 in regular-season Premier Development League play.[38] Their two losses came against Albuquerque Sol FC on the road and Real Colorado at home.[39][40][41] In a July 4 home rematch against Albuquerque Tucson won 2–0 to claim the 2015 Southwestern Showdown rivalry series and retain possession of the Golden Rattler trophy.[42] Tucson's regular season concluded with four straight wins: at home against Real Colorado and against the Sol, and on the road against the Southwest Division's Fresno Fuego and OC Blues U23.[6] The streak put Tucson one point ahead of the Sol in the final PDL Mountain Division standings.[38][43][44]

Tucson defeated Albuquerque 2–1 at home in the 2015 postseason qualifier, and once again was selected to host the Western Conference final four.[45] After beating the previously-undefeated Kitsap Pumas 4–1 in the semis, the home side lost in the conference championship for the second-straight year, this time to the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 by a score of 2–1.[46][47][48] Forward Pedro Espindola and Defender Kalem Scott were named to the All-Western Conference team.[49]


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.[50] 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.[51]


Kino Sports Complex North Stadium (2014–)
Kino North Stadium was dedicated on October 30, 2013.[52][53] The stadium seats 2,900 with 1,800 in a partially-covered grandstand on the west sideline.[5][54] 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.[55] FC Tucson defeated MLS Chivas USA 1–0 on November 15, 2013 in the first match held at the stadium.[4][56]

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 season of play, FC Tucson made use of Murphey Field, home to the University of Arizona women's soccer team.[57]

Club Culture[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.[58]


Football kit (red jersey, white shorts, and blue socks).
July 4th colors

In 2014 FC Tucson announced the Southwestern Showdown, an annual series with Albuquerque Sol FC, a PDL expansion team placed with Tucson in the Western Conference's newly-formed Mountain Division. The club earning the most league points over all regular-season meetings is awarded "The Golden Rattler" trophy to hold for the following year. Ties are broken by goal difference or, if there is none, final division standings.[59] For the final match of the series in both 2014 and 2015, the club wore red jerseys, white shorts, and blue socks in celebration of the 4th of July holiday. On both occasions Tucson won to claim the series title.[42]

La Copa Frontera, a supporters cup competition organized by the Cactus Pricks, the Las Vegas Mobsters' Mob Squad, and Albuquerque's Sandianistas, was organized in 2015.[60] In that year the Sol claimed La Copa with a sweep of the Mobsters, despite ultimately finishing second to Tucson in head-to-head competition by virute of goal difference.[61]


Year Division League Record Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2012 4 USL PDL 9–3–4 2nd, Southwest Conference Semi-Finals Ineligible
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
2015 4 USL PDL 8–2–4 1st, Mountain Conference Finals First Round
2016 4 USL PDL 11–1–2 1st, Southwest[62] Conference Finals Second Round


  • USL PDL Mountain Division Champions 2014
  • USL PDL Mountain Division Champions 2015
  • USL PDL Southwest Division Champions 2016

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)
2015 F Pedro Espindola Brazil BRA All-Conference Team (Western)
2015 D Kalem Scott Canada CAN All-Conference Team (Western)
2016 D Gordon Hall Canada CAN All-Conference Team (Western)
2016 M Michael Turner United States USA All-Conference Team (Western)

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of February 21, 2015[63][64][65][66]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 France GK Yann Passet
2 United States MF Michael Turner
3 United States DF Jack Huber
6 Guyana MF Brandon Beresford
7 Guam DF Travis Nicklaw
8 United States MF Patrick Hickman
9 Mexico MF Ozzie Ramos
10 United States FW David Clemens (captain)
11 United States MF Cylus Sandoval
12 Mexico MF Luis Martinez
13 Canada DF Kalem Scott
No. Position Player
14 Chile DF Arturo Rodriguez
15 Brazil FW Pedro Espindola
16 Mexico FW Nestor Jaramillo
17 United States DF Edgar Reyna
18 Guam GK Dallas Jaye
19 United States MF Brandon Zambrano
23 Colombia DF Sebastian Pineda
24 Jamaica FW Odaine Sinclair
25 France MF Elliot Prost
26 United States GK Thomas Olsen

Current staff[edit]

  • United States Rick Schantz - Managing Partner
  • United States Jonathan Pearlman - Managing Partner & Head Coach
  • United States Greg Foster - Managing Partner
  • United States Kate Norton - Team Administrator and Director of Operations
  • United States Jose Miranda - Assistant Coach
  • Norway Vetle Bergmann - Equipment Manager

Notable former players[edit]

Head Coaches[edit]

  • United States Rick Schantz (2010-2016)


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  8. ^ Prezelski, Ted (May 19, 2011). "FC Tucson discover the joys of playing in new league". Tucson Sentinel. 
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  20. ^ Ord, Dave (May 15, 2011). "FC Tucson 2, Phoenix FC 1: Hero scores twice for grandma". Arizona Daily Star. 
  21. ^ "Tucson Grabs Victory In Shootout, Defeats San Antonio to advance to third round of Open Cup". United Soccer Leagues (USL). May 21, 2013. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
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  23. ^ Bosch, H. Jose (May 21, 2013). "The Run Continues". fctucson.com. FC Tucson. 
  24. ^ 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. 
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  26. ^ Bosch, H. Jose. "Houston 2-0 FC Tucson". fctucson.com. FC Tucson. 
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  39. ^ Kelley, James (June 28, 2015). "Late addition Jaramillo key to FC Tucson win". Arizona Daily Star. 
  40. ^ Kelly, David (June 26, 2015). "Punchless FC Tucson suffers rare home loss". TucsonNewsNow.com. 
  41. ^ "FC Tucson men, women both win". Arizona Daily Star. June 20, 2015. 
  42. ^ a b Kelley, James (July 5, 2015). "FC Tucson blanks Sol behind Espindola's 2 goals". Arizona Daily Star. 
  43. ^ "FC Tucson has shot at division title". Arizona Daily Star. July 12, 2015. 
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  45. ^ Kelley, James (July 19, 2015). "2 late goals keep FC Tucson's season alive". Arizona Daily Star. 
  46. ^ "PDL Recap: Comeback & Playoff Advance (7.18.15)". FC Tucson. July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  47. ^ "PDL Recap: 4-1 Win over Undefeated Pumas". FC Tucson. July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  48. ^ "PDL Recap: Men End Playoff Run in 2-1 Loss". FC Tucson. July 26, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  49. ^ "PDL All-Conference Teams Announced". United Soccer Leagues (USL). July 27, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  50. ^ Prezelski, Ted (June 10, 2011). "Yavapai looking for better result against FC Tucson". TucsonSentinel.com. 
  51. ^ Prezelski, Ted (May 23, 2013). "Post Game Cigarette". www.mindingthe.net. 
  52. ^ Join Our Groundbreaking!
  53. ^ ‘This is your house and we’re going to protect it’
  54. ^ "The North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex". fctucson.com. March 6, 2013. 
  55. ^ FC Tucson Finds Home At Kino Sports Complex
  56. ^ FC Tucson 1-0 Chivas USA
  57. ^ Prezelski, Ted (April 25, 2011). "FC Tucson releases schedule". TucsonSentinel.com. 
  58. ^ "The Cactus Pricks—About". cactuspricks.com. 
  59. ^ ""Southwestern Showdown" Begins Tonight". FCTucson.com. June 6, 2013. 
  60. ^ Reid, Chris (May 8, 2015). "Inside Look: Copa Frontera". Non League America. 
  61. ^ "The Sol Beat Las Vegas, Win the Copa Frontera". abqsolfc.com. June 15, 2015. 
  62. ^ Kelley, James (July 13, 2016). "FC Tucson has some golden opportunities up for grabs against Albuquerque". Arizona Daily Star. 
  63. ^ http://fctucson.com/team/players-staff/players/
  64. ^ FC Tucson Completes Preseason Singings
  65. ^ FC Tucson Signs Six More Players
  66. ^ Preseason Invitees Signed to Roster

External links[edit]