In the first local derby of 2019, visiting MSC United scored a late, shorthanded goal, but a brace from Edgar Garcia was enough to see Sporting AZ FC to a 2-1 victory at South Mountain Community College on Saturday night.
For the second week in a row, Sporting enjoyed the majority of possession and chances on both sides of halftime, getting two goals for their efforts. In the 40th minute, the home side broke through when Kenny McAvoy flipped a perfect ball through the middle of the defense to a waiting Garcia who shook his defender and fired into the back of the net.
In the 60th, Niko Shumov grabbed the clearance off a corner kick and lined a low, 22-yard shot that caromed off the post and back into traffic. Garcia reacted quickly, rounding a defender and slotting the ball inside the far post for the 2-0 lead.
Things could have gotten ugly for MSC, when in the 72nd one of their players was sent off for apparently kicking Sporting’s Roberto DeLima while the latter was on the ground. However, the young team from Mesa continued to push, and in the 82nd, Adolfo Moreno’s long-range ball drifted deep into the Sporting box and over the fingertips of goalkeeper Tyler Pavlet.
Sporting AZ FC moves to a record of two wins, no losses and no draws on the season, and will next travel to Amarillo, Texas to meet High Plains Drifters and Tapatio FC.
Sporting AZ FC Starters:
Tyler Pavlet, Brian Green, Chris Green, Jon Guse, David Paul, Edgar Garcia, Niko Shumov, Mark Sanchez, Kenny McAvoy, Noel Castillo, Chris Ramsell
Jared Wilson, Brandon Johnson, Robby Baca, Danny Baca, Timmy Le, Roberto DeLima, Tarek Salama, Josh Cirocco, Jose Ramos
Sporting AZ FC opened its United Premier Soccer League Southwest Conference championship defense with a 2-0 win on Saturday night over FC Grande in a rematch of the 2018 title game.
The visitors from Las Cruces, N.M. brought plenty of chances with them in the first half, while Sporting’s Josh Drack and Chris Ramsell peppered the Grande area with shots of their own in a wide-open match.
The deadlock broke for the home side just after halftime when Drack found Chris Harmon in stride down the middle of the park. Harmon slotted to the bottom right corner for the 1-0 lead.
Ramsell doubled Sporting’s advantage in the 56th when he chased down a long ball out of the back and out-ran his defender before firing to the far post.
Tyler Pavlet recorded the clean sheet for Sporting AZ FC.
Sporting AZ FC announced today its 2019 UPSL Regular Season schedule. Home matches will be played at Phoenix College’s Hoy Stadium.
Schedule highlights include a rematch of last summer’s conference final, when Las Cruces, New Mexico club FC Grande come to the Valley for the season opener on May 4.
This year’s realigned UPSL Southwest Conference features two teams making their first visits to Arizona, Southwest FC U21 and Inter City FC. Sporting AZ FC will also visit Amarillo, Texas (High Plains Drifters and Tapatío FC) and Midland, Texas (FPS FC).
Away games will be streamed live at the George and Dragon English Pub in Central Phoenix.