FC Tucson

FC Tucson faces Union Omaha in USL League One semifinals

FC Tucson will look to continue its historic USL League One playoff run when it plays at Union Omaha on Saturday at 3 p.m.

The semifinal is at at Werner Park in Omaha and will stream live on ESPN+. 

The Men In Black, who are playing in their first USL League One playoffs, are 1-3 against the Owls this year. The first time the two teams met was June 26, when Jon Galas was still the head coach.

FC Tucson was handed a clean sheet that game as they lost 1-0.

The Men In Black scored a goal against Union Omaha their second time around on July 24, but still took the loss at 2-1. That was the first loss that Jon Pearlman suffered after replacing Galas.

That was part of a four-match losing streak, ending with the Owls beating the Men In Black 1-0 at Kino North on Aug. 14.

Things changed drastically for FC Tucson following that loss. The Men In Black were near the bottom of the USL League One standings at 11th.

After riding a six-match unbeaten streak, FC Tucson finally managed to beat Union Omaha at their home pitch, the first team in the league to achieve that feat.

They handed the Owls a clean sheet, winning 1-0 and extending their unbeaen streak to seven at the time, bringing them up to fourth place.

The winner of Saturday’s match will determine who gets to advance to the championship match to take on either FC Chattanooga or Greenville Triumph SC.

Local fans can join a watch party for the game at American Eats Co., 1439 S 4th Avenue in Tucson.


Jon Pearlman is one of the finalists for USL League One coach of the year. Pearlman brought his team from 2-6-3 and 11th place to 12-10-7 and a fourth-place finish. Pearlman’s team is also tied for first in goals this season with 44. Jay Mims of Union Omaha and John Starkes of Greenville Triumph SC are the other two finalists.


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 for the Cougars.

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