Looking for some payback after a difficult exit from 2019 U.S. Open Cup qualifying, Sporting AZ FC welcomed Southwest FC and Southwest FC U21 to Arizona this weekend and claimed two victories from two matches.
Sporting defeated Southwest FC’s first team on Saturday night by a score of 1-0 at NSFC Strikers complex in Mesa before lighting up the SFC U21’s 4-0 on Sunday at South Mountain Community College.
In his Sporting debut Saturday, John Rea scored a header in the 86th minute off a lovely David Paul cross, breaking the deadlock on an evenly contested match and securing full points for the hosts. On Sunday it was Danny Baca and Chris Ramsell getting on the board, logging a brace each. Captain Jon Guse cleared out some dangerous plays in defense and Jake Rybicki, back with Sporting after a year in Europe, logged two clean sheets on the weekend in goal.
Saturday, May 25, Sporting AZ FC Starters: Jake Rybicki, Brian Green, Mo Salama, Jon Guse, Chris Green, Mark Sanchez, Niko Shumov, Kenny McAvoy, David Paul, Chris Ramsell, Danny Baca
Subs: Junior Sewell, Brandon Johnson, John Rea, Roberto DeLima, Josh Cirocco, Tarek Salama, Abraham Espinoza
Sunday, May 26, Sporting AZ FC Starters: Jake Rybicki, Brian Green, Mo Salama, Jon Guse, Chris Green, Brandon Johnson, Kenny McAvoy, Roberto DeLima, Niko Shumov, Chris Ramsell, Danny Baca
Subs: Tarek Salama, Junior Sewell, Heber Maldonado
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.