FC Tucson

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FC Tucson
FC Tucson logo.svg
Full nameFC Tucson
FoundedOctober 10, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-10-10)
StadiumKino North Stadium
OwnerBenevolent Sports Tucson, LLC
PresidentAmanda Powers
Head coachJon Pearlman
LeagueUSL League One
2021USL League One, 4th of 12
Playoffs: Semi-finals
WebsiteClub website
Current season

FC Tucson is an American professional soccer club based in Tucson, Arizona that plays in USL League One. The club has an amateur women’s team, FC Tucson Women, that play in the WPSL.[1] Organized in 2010, the club first fielded a team in March 2011, then joined the Premier Development League (PDL; now known as USL League Two) Western Conference in 2012.[2]

Tucson plays their home games at the 3,200-seat Kino Sports Complex North Stadium constructed in 2013.[3][4][5][6][7]



FC Tucson was founded in 2010 to bring preseason Major League Soccer events to Tucson and generate interest in a new soccer club.[2] 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.[8] 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.[9] Their first match following the Desert Cup took place on May 13, a 7–2 victory over Yavapai FC.[10] On December 15, 2011, FC Tucson announced its move to the PDL.[11]

Early PDL and Open Cup success[edit]

In its first season of play in the United Soccer League's Premier Development League (USL PDL, now USL League Two) the 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.[12] In postseason play Tucson lost 2–1 to Seattle Sounders FC U-23 in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.[13] Defender Conor Spence was named to the All-Western Conference Team.[14][15] The club was named 2012 PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year.[16][17]

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.[18][19][20][21] Next they defeated the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL in a 4–3 penalty shoot-out to break a 2–2 tie.[22][23][24][25][26] The run ended in Houston where they fell 2–0 to the MLS Dynamo.[27][28][29] 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.)[30][31][32] Tucson did not qualify for the PDL postseason in 2013, finishing fifth in the Southwest with five wins, five losses, and 4 draws.[33]

Mountain Division Dominance[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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36][37] FC Tucson was named PDL Organization of the Year.[38]

Tucson claimed its second-straight Mountain Division title in 2015 with a record of 8–2–4 in regular-season Premier Development League play.[39] Their two losses came against Albuquerque Sol FC on the road and Real Colorado at home.[40][41][42] 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.[43] 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.[44] The streak put Tucson one point ahead of the Sol in the final PDL Mountain Division standings.[39][45][46]

Tucson defeated Albuquerque 2–1 at home in the 2015 postseason qualifier, and once again was selected to host the Western Conference final four.[47] 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.[48][49][50] Forward Pedro Espindola and Defender Kalem Scott were named to the All-Western Conference team.[51]


FC Tucson was purchased by Phoenix Rising FC of the United Soccer League, now known as the USL Championship, on October 11, 2017, and initially served as its PDL affiliate.[52][53][54] The 2018 season was ultimately FC Tucson's last in the PDL, since renamed USL League Two.

FC Tucson became the second team (and the first pre-existing team) to join the USL Division III league (later renamed USL League One) on February 6, 2018. Thus, the team became fully professional.[55][56]

On February 18, 2021, FC Tucson announced that Benevolent Sports Tucson LLC, led by Brett Johnson, completed the transfer of ownership from Phoenix Rising FC.[57] The team is no longer affiliated with Rising FC and is again eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup.[58]


  • FC Tucson Events, LLC (Greg Foster, Chris Keeney, Jon Pearlman & Rick Schantz) (until 2017)[11]
  • Phoenix Rising FC (2017–2021)
  • Benevolent Sports Tucson, LLC (2021–present)

Colors and badge[edit]

Tucson FC's official colors are red, black, and white.

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.[59] 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.[60]


Seasons Shirt manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2011–2012 Adidas
2013 Audi Tucson
2014–2018 Chapman Automotive
2019 Macron Banner-University Medicine[61]
2020 Chapman Automotive
2021 Puma[62]
2022–present Quik Mart[63]


  • Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium (2011)
  • Kino Sports Complex North Field #5 (2012–2013)
  • Kino Sports Complex North Stadium (2014–present)

Kino North Stadium was dedicated on October 30, 2013.[64][65] The stadium seats 2,900, with 1,800 in a partially-covered grandstand on the west sideline.[6][66] 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.[67] FC Tucson defeated MLS side Chivas USA 1–0 on November 15, 2013, in the first match held at the stadium.[5][68]

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.[69]


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.[70] 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.[43][71]

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.[72] 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 virtue of goal difference.[73]



As of October 1, 2022
Season Premier Development League Playoffs US Open Cup Top Scorer 1 Head Coach
P W L D GF GA Pts Pos Player Goals
2012 16 9 3 4 21 16 31 2nd, Southwest Conference Semifinals Ineligible United States Donny Toia 4 United States Rick Schantz
2013 14 5 5 4 31 17 19 5th, Southwest Did not qualify 3R United States David Clemens
United States Gabriel Silveira
5 United States Rick Schantz
2014 14 11 2 1 35 11 34 1st, Mountain Conference Final Did not qualify United States Ricardo Velazco 7 United States Rick Schantz
2015 14 8 2 4 28 15 28 1st, Mountain Conference Final 1R United States David Clemens 6 United States Rick Schantz
2016 14 11 1 2 38 12 35 1st, Southwest Conference Final 2R Brazil Afonso Pinheiro 9 United States Rick Schantz
2017 14 9 2 3 34 17 30 1st, Mountain Conference Semifinals 2R Israel Moshe Perez 12 United States Jon Pearlman
2018 14 7 3 4 29 19 25 2nd, Mountain Conference Final 2R United States Damian German 11 United States David Cosgrove
Season USL League One Playoffs US Open Cup Top Scorer 1 Head Coach
P W L D GF GA Pts Pos Player Goals
2019 28 8 11 9 35 41 33 8th Did not qualify Ineligible (USLC owned team) United States Jordan Jones 10 United States Darren Sawatzky
2020 16 6 6 4 21 19 22 6th Did not qualify Ineligible (USLC owned team) United States Shak Adams
United States Josh Coan
4 United States John Galas
2021 28 11 10 7 44 42 40 4th Semifinals Not Held England Charlie Dennis 9 United States John Galas (2-4-3)
United States Jon Pearlman (9-6-4)
2022 27 8 12 7 32 39 31 10th TBD 3R France Louis Perez
United States Donny Toia
5 United States Jon Pearlman

^ 1. Top Scorer includes statistics from league matches only.

Head coaches[edit]

  • Includes Regular Season, Playoffs & U.S. Open Cup. Excludes friendlies.
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Rick Schantz  United States October 10, 2010 January 8, 2017 83 49 19 15 059.04
Jon Pearlman  United States January 9, 2017 December 22, 2017 17 10 4 3 058.82
David Cosgrove  United States March 6, 2018 December 11, 2018 18 9 5 4 050.00
Darren Sawatzky  United States December 12, 2018 November 6, 2019 28 8 11 9 028.57
John Galas  United States December 24, 2019 June 30, 2021 25 8 10 7 032.00
Jon Pearlman (Interim)  United States June 30, 2021 October 7, 2021 15 7 5 3 046.67
Jon Pearlman  United States October 7, 2021 Present 31 11 14 6 035.48

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of September 8, 2022[74]
No. Pos. Player Nation
1 GK Sean Murray  United States
2 DF Donny Toia  United States
4 DF Luca Mastrantonio  Italy
5 DF Kaelon Fox  United States
6 MF Elijah Wynder (on loan from Louisville City)  United States
7 MF João Delgado  Portugal
8 MF Daniel Bedoya  Colombia
9 FW Yuki Shibata  Japan
11 FW Gio Calixtro  United States
12 DF Tyler Allen  United States
13 MF Louis Perez  France
14 FW Fernando Garcia  United States
16 DF Jacob Crull  Austria
17 DF Tarn Weir  United States
18 MF Tevin Shaw  Jamaica
19 MF Christian Nydegger (on loan from Real Monarchs)  United States
21 MF Mueng Sunday  Nigeria
22 DF Tyler Moss  United States
23 GK Carlos Merancio  Mexico
25 MF Charlie Machell  England
27 DF Eric Kinzner (on loan from Tacoma Defiance)  United States
29 FW Franco Peréz (on loan from Aldosivi)  Argentina
30 GK Emiliano Andraux ([A])  United States
31 MF Brandon Sanchez ([A])  United States
32 MF Burke Fahling (on loan from Charleston Battery)  United States
33 FW Nick Hanus ([A])  United States
38 MF Jerod Allen ([A])  United States
49 DF Diego Ruiz ([A])  United States
77 FW Josiah Romero  United States
  1. ^
    USL Academy Contract.

Out on loan[edit]

No. Pos. Player Nation
20 FW Daniel Bloyou (on loan to Ljungskile SK)  Ghana


Front Office Staff
President Amanda Powers
VP of Ticket Sales Justin Kirk
VP of Marketing & Communications Jason Christley
Director of Administration and Finance Laura Nagore
Director, Merchandise and Apparel Jordan Turner
Creative Director In Residence William Olguin
Manager, Digital Content Lilly Howe
Video Assets Specialist Joel Romero
Account Executive Alan Villasenor
Account Executive Jose Guevara
Special Projects Coordinator Melissa Mata
Senior Account Executive, Corporate Sales Chelsea Bowdren
Corporate Engagement Consultant Joseph Erceg
Technical Staff
Head Coach Jon Pearlman
First Assistant Coach Mark Biagi
Academy Head Coach Sebastian Pineda
Director of Goalkeeping Vito Higgins
Director of Soccer Operations Kyle Cornell
Head Athletic Trainer Alee Vladyka
Director of Sports Medicine Dr. Ty Endean


Notable former players[edit]



  • USL PDL Mountain Division
    • Champions (3): 2014, 2015, 2017
  • USL PDL Southwest Division
    • Champions (1): 2016

Player honors[edit]

Year Pos Player Country Honor
Premier Development League
2012 D Conor Spence  USA All-Western Conference Team
2014 M Ricardo Velazco  USA PDL Young (U21) Player of the Year
All-League Team
All-Western Conference Team
G Billy Thompson  USA PDL Goalkeeper of the Year
All-League Team
All-Western Conference Team
2015 F Pedro Espindola  BRA All-Western Conference Team
D Kalem Scott  CAN
2016 D Gordon Hall  CAN All-Western Conference Team
M Michael Turner  USA
2017 M Moshe Perez  ISR All-League Team
All-Western Conference Team
2018 D Henry Lander  ENG All-Western Conference Team
USL League One
2019 F Jordan Jones  USA All-League Second Team
2021 M Charlie Dennis  ENG All-League Second Team
D Noah Franke  USA


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External links[edit]