FC Tucson

FC Tucson tries to beat North Carolina FC after shutout loss last week

FC Tucson is looking for a bounce-back win after suffering a shutout loss to South Georgia Tormenta FC last week at Kino North Stadium.

The 2-0 loss has FC Tucson (1-2-1) eager to add three points to its total in the USL League One standings by beating North Carolina FC (1-2-1) on Saturday night at Kino on Teacher Appreciation Night.

The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m.

FC Tucson started slow against Tormenta FC, so getting off on a faster note should be one of the top priorities against North Carolina FC.

Discipline has been a significant issue for the Men in Black. Although it is still early in the season, FC Tucson has been handed two red cards, leaving it with 10 men on the field for those matches.

Ten yellow cards have also been issued this season.

Kaelon Fox (FC Tucson photo)

FC Tucson defender Kaelon Fox made his debut returning from an MCL tear last week and played a solid 30 minutes. It is unclear whether or not he will start in Saturday’s match, but his return gives FC Tucson an added advantage in size and defensive play.

Last week, FC Tucson coach Jon Pearlman indicated that Fox may get the start, depending on how this week’s practices went.

“Having Kaelon back is key,” Pearlman said. “He’s on a 30-minute limit, so we wanted to bring him in early and obviously if he has a good week, we can feature him in the first 11 against North Carolina, which is the plan.”

North Carolina forward Garrett McLaughlin has scored three of the total four goals the team has scored this season. He also leads the team in shots with 10.

FC Tucson defenders Jacob Crull and Luca Mastrantonio will aim to continue their effective play. Mastrantonio leads the team with 14 clearances, followed closely by Crull with 13.

Both have also netted goals this season with Crull heading his in to secure a draw against Forward Madison, and Mastrantonio heading his in to kick off the goalscoring trifecta that grabbed the win on the road to then-first place Chattanooga Red Wolves.

The Teacher Appreciation Night presented by Pima County Superintendent’s Office will include a ceremony honoring the Raytheon Leaders in Education Award finalists.

They include Vanessa Hill, a REACH teacher for K-5 gifted students at Rio Vista Elementary School, and Christopher Ryan, a sixth-grade English Language Arts and GATE teacher at Dodge Magnet Middle School. They will be honored prior to the game.

Teachers showing ID can get discounted tickets for $12 and enter to win prizes, including a Staycation at Westin La Paloma or Sheraton Tucson, as well as season tickets for FC Tucson and gift baskets from Office Depot.

FC Tucson plays at league newcomer Charlotte Independence next Sunday at 3 p.m. Tucson time. Fans are invited to Home Plate Marana, as the sports grill debuts as a FC Tucson Watch Party host. 

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