North Texas Soccer Club and FC Tucson, two teams vying for table position, faced off against each other in the Texas summer heat. After a slow start and a lively second-half, both teams ended scorelessly after 3 red-cards were shown in the second half.
North Texas SC’s newest signing, Blaine Ferri, made his first game-day roster. Kazu, Alisson, and Jacquel made their return to the starting lineup after last-week’s win over Greenville.
Noah Franke was shown a red-card in the 57th minute after tackling Gibran Rayo to the ground.
Collin Smith and Blaine Ferri, making his debut, replaced Thibault Jacquel and Derek Waldeck respectively in the 69th minute.
Imanol Almaguer was shown a red-card in the 82rd minute.
Hope Avayevu entered for Alex Bruce in the 86th minute.
Giovanni Calixtro saw a red-card in stoppage-time.
North Texas SC and FC Tucson ended scoreless after the final whistle.
Thoughts & Takeaways
In comparison to last week’s flurry of activity from North Texas, the team sat deeper and were more patient with their ball movement.
In a rare occurrence for the young group of professionals, North Texas was out-possessed 42.2% to 56.8% at halftime and with 200 passes to Tucson’s 274.
“I think in the first-half we sat a little too much and gave them too much time and respect when they were in possession,” Waldeck said of the first half. “We made slight adjustment at the half to try to push a little higher up the field. When it’s zero zero at the half as the home team, we need to go for it.”
Tucson did well to sit deeper in their own half when defending while staying close to the North Texas attacking players with forcing play to go down the wings.
Game of Two Halves
The response from North Texas SC, and FC Tucson, was much better and resulted in a higher tempo game from both sides.
“I felt like that we had the quality to hit them [FC Tucson] hard on the counter-attack and we were hoping that would give us the lead,” Eric Quill told 3rd Degree. “We were really good and sound defensively in the first half. When you’re zero zero at half at home, tying at home is not good enough. We had to go and change our mentality and philosophy and we started to pressed and tried to find the goal.”
The team moved the ball with quick passing and attacking flair leading to numerous threatening goal-scoring chances. This pushed FC Tucson even further into their own half given North Texas more space in the field.
After starting the second half with more intensity, North Texas created more scoring opportunities for themselves by playing through Tucson’s lines and creating space.
North Texas, after gaining an advantage after Franke’s red-card, pressed and attacked even higher up the field.
One of the biggest struggles that North Texas SC has had since the club’s beginning is taking advantage of opportunities presented during the game.
“I thought we had some bright moments and some chances to get on the front foot and grab a goal and force Tucson to chase the game a bit but we weren’t able to capitalize those chances,” Waldeck said. “The way we finished the game is definitely not up to our standards. Letting our foot off the gas and letting them back into the game even when we had that spell up a man, we just lacked our intensity.”
North Texas SC had taken one-too-many touches and passes which allowed Tucson to commit numbers in the box. The club was present with many opportunities but was not able to convert those chances when having a player advantage.
North Texas SC went scoreless against FC Tucson. The club sits in 8th place with 11 points through 8 games. North Texas SC heads up north to face New England II on Saturday, June 26th, at 6 PM.