FC Tucson played what looked like a comeback game after being on the road for their last three games, but that was quickly ruined when Union Omaha beat the Men in Black 2-1 at the Kino North Complex.
“It might be one of the toughest losses of the year to be fair,” the FC Tucson head coach said. Jon Pealman said. “We lost in different ways and in frustrating ways, especially at home. I thought we were so brilliant the first 15 minutes. We really controlled the game completely. And then we decreased the progressive play a bit, really pushing players forward at the right times.
FC Tucson have struggled to generate points in their last three USL League One home matches of late, dating back to April 30 when they lost to Tormenta FC 2-0.
The Men In Black sit in last place in the USL League One standings with seven points (2-6-1 record).
Prior to the start of Saturday’s game, FC Tucson did the honor of handing the ball to the President of Tucson Pride Stephen Myers Fulgham.
Myers-Fulgham is president of the nonprofit, director of the Veterans Affairs Project, and teacher in the Sunnyside Unified School District.
After 41 minutes of play, the Union Omaha striker Noah Meza put his team on the board first with an accurate free kick that flew towards the top right corner of the goal post.
FC Tucson Goalie carlos merancio had a good chance to block, but the ball was just a little out of reach.
“Obviously, free kicks of a world, it’s going to be a game-changer,” Pearlman said. “Once you give Omaha a goal, nobody’s better to sit in that 4-4-2 block and lock down a game.”
Despite the only goal in the first period, FC Tucson did well not to allow Union Omaha (3-1-4, 13 points) to score, considering that they attempted six shots, including two on target.
The game only seemed to go away from the Men in Black following a Union Omaha goal. Kemal Malcolm in the 57th minute of the match, bringing the score to 2-0.
It was until the 63rd minute, when Gabriel Claudio received a red card and was disqualified from the game, giving FC Tucson the advantage they were looking for.
He didn’t let that advantage go to waste as his attack quickly crashed around the penalty area. Tyler Allen attempted a shot from the right side of the box which was mistakenly thrown by Union Omaha’s Conor Doylewho was trying to clear the ball.
“Tyler’s ball was awesome,” Pearlman said. “That ball was going to be slammed by one of our players and we generated an own goal.”
FC Tucson had another huge chance to score an equalizer, but the game was called off due to offside.
Officials on the field gave the game an additional seven minutes of stoppage time, but Union Omaha fell back to their defense to run through the remainder of the timeout.
FC Tucson kept possession of the ball for 67% of the game and had 14 shot attempts to Union Omaha’s eight.
FC Tucson and Union Omaha faced off on shots on target with three.
Despite the loss, Pearlman still saw a lot of improvement from the team.
” I think I have Kaelon (Fox) there is always a big difference for us, from his leadership to his initiative,” Pearlman said. “I think Tevin (Shaw) as well. This game, you’ve seen it’s a very solid five. Brave defenders, very physical, very competitive, that’s what you need in this league.
“I think the progressive pass in this game was much better. We moved him from side to side much better.
FC Tucson will travel to Fresno, California for their next game. They will face Central Valley Fuego on Saturday at Fresno Soccer Stadium. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.
Central Valley is 3-2-4 with 13 points.