FC Tucson played a gutsy match in Tennessee against Chattanooga FC last Saturday, one that saw the Men in Black make a comeback late in stunning fashion.
FC Tucson took home the draw with a score of 2-2, gained a point in their division and Daniel Bedoya earned himself a spot in the USL League One Division.
The midfielder scored a goal off of a penalty kick in the 86th minute while also making plays on the defensive side.
FC Tucson faces New England Revolution II (5-6-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Kino North Stadium in what will be the first time that the two clubs will meet each other this season.
“The way we came back in the game showed a lot of heart and a lot of guts, which is something we’ve been trying to install in the team since the beginning,” FC Tucson defender Dakota Barnathan said on the team’s Web site. “It’s good to know the fruits are coming from our labor. We’ve put in a lot of good work and the results are starting to come out way.
“Looking forward to New England. Being back home, we have a couple games coming up up at home, and it’s good to get started with a nice win on Saturday night.”
New England is 2-3 on the road, but they are not a team to look past. As of now, they stand three points ahead of the Men In Black in the division.
FC Tucson has a history of playing behind, but this week interim coach Jon Pearlman plans to start the match fast while tightening the defensive end of the ball.
Since Pearlman replaced John Galas as head coach, FC Tucson has gone 1-0-1 and will look to continue their unbeaten streak on Saturday night. The game will be televised live on ESPN Plus.
New England is one of four teams at 16 points that occupy fifth through eighth in the standings. Tucson is 3-4-4 (13 points) in 11th. The top six teams qualify for postseason.
“We want to start fast and win more balls in their defensive half,” said Pearlman. “We started well against Fort Lauderdale (FC) (two weeks ago in a win at home in Pearlman’s return as head coach) and we are looking to continue to be aggressive against a young and talented team.”
Pearlman also looks for his team to play tough for all 90 minutes of the match, especially at home.
“We need to take care of business at home,” Pearlman said. “If we play well for 90 minutes, we will be a tough team to deal with.”
FC Tucson’s Wallis Lapsley continues to lead the league in saves with 39.
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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.