The well-rested Men In Black had some time to enjoy a bye week this past weekend following a home loss to North Texas SC on Oct. 2, but now it’s time to work toward a playoff berth in the USL League One.
The franchise stayed busy in the front office during the bye week. It gave interim head coach Jon Pearlman the permanent title on Oct. 7. While coaching FC Tucson, he will also still be serving as the team’s technical director.
FC Tucson returns to the pitch on Wednesday night at 7 at Kino North to take on last-place North Carolina FC (5-15-4).
As the season comes to a close with just four games remaining, the playoff race gets tighter. FC Tucson sits at sixth place — the last place to qualify for the postseason — with 33 points and a 9-9-6 record.
The Men In Black directly trail the New England Revolution II FC (11-10-4, 37 points) and the Richmond Kickers FC (10-8-7, 37 points) — both of which share the fifth-place spot.
North Texas SC (8-8-9) also has 33 points, but FC Tucson has more wins overall with nine, which is the first tie-breaker.
Toronto II FC (8-9-8) is at seventh place with 32 points.
FC Tucson’s next three matches are against teams that are not in position to make the playoffs, so it is imperative for the Men In Black to take care of business and stay in the top six.
They also host South Georgia Tormenta (8-12-6, 30 points) on Saturday and play at Forward Madison SC (6-7-11, 29 points) on Oct. 23.
Their last true test will be a home match against the Richmond Kickers FC on Oct. 30.
FC Tucson must concentrate first on North Carolina SC, which is the only USL League One team to be eliminated from postseason contention at this point.
The last time these two teams met, FC Tucson came away with a 2-1 victory on May 29.
It will be Fuerza Frontline Workers Night presented by City of Tucson. The match will be televised live on ESPN-Plus.
- Wallis Lapsley has 67 saves on the season and is second in USL League 1.
- Charlie Dennis is tied for fourth in the USL League 1 with his six assists.
- FC Tucson has 35 goals on the season and is tied for third in USL League 1
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Nathaniel Martinez is an aspiring sports journalist who is a Sahuaro High School graduate and Pima Community College student. He has written for the Aztec Press at Pima. While at Sahuaro, he played football for longtime coach Scott McKee and he wrestled.