Own goal brace dooms North Texas at Tacoma

Two own goals by North Texas SC put the game out of reach as Lot Toritos failed to find the net despite a barrage of chances, falling 3-0 to the Tacoma Defiance.

The Game

Hope Avayevu returned to the starting XI after time away due to injury and Carl Sainte returned to the team after spending time with the Haitian National team for the Gold Cup.

As usual, North Texas also only traveled with a 6 man bench, meaning all outfield subs saw action in the match.

The game started poorly for North Texas, who were pinned behind soon after kickoff, as Henri Santos attempted to clear a cross in the six but instead sent the ball into his own net.

At 12 minutes, Hope found a fortuitous bounce and tried to bend a shot but it goes wide, North Texas’ first chance of the game.

24 minutes in, Tacoma doubled their lead as Tacoma’s Paul Rothrock pushes Tyshawn Rose out of the way to chip Eyestone after a ball in behind.

After falling behind by two goals, North Texas put their foot on the gas, as they found great chances in quick succession by Pablo Torre and Tomas Pondeca, coming close on each occasion but lacking in the finish.

5 minutes before Halftime, Julian Eyestone showed his quality as he reacted quickly and denied a goal-bound header from inside the six.

Eyestone 41′ Save

As the halftime whistle blew, it was a typical first half for North Texas, wherein they would be down on possession but lead in passes into the final third and have created close opportunities but none finding the back of the net. Additionally, also trailed by two goals on the night.

Soon after the second half started, North Texas conceded via own goal again, as Ale Urzua slid to cut out a cross inside the six but deflected it goalbound regardless.

After falling behind by 3, it would have had to have been a gargantuan second-half effort to mount a comeback, and despite many good chances by way of Pablo Torre and co, few challenged the Tacoma Netminder and none rippled the net.

A disappointing night for Coach Cano’s men, who left the pacific northwest empty-handed.

Quotes and Takeaways

“I am very disappointed because we cannot start a game with this level of focus or intensity” Coach Cano firmly stated.

Despite the score line, a few players still received nuggets of praise from Coach Cano, “Some players were doing extra, like Alejandro Urzua making runs in behind.”

“We had 14 shots, they had 6, we were not playing a bad game.” Said Cano after the match. The 3-0 score line arguably flatters Tacoma, with two coming from quite avoidable own goals and only two other good chances made otherwise.

“It is always a good day when we have [Hope and Sainte] available, Hope is back from an injury so we limited his minutes.”

North Texas often comes close to scoring in the first half, but has struggled to find the net before the halftime break, “We are talking about inches… if Tomas Pondeca‘s shot was a couple more inches in and if Hope’s shot is a couple more inches”

North Texas’ next competition will see them travel to Houston to play the Dynamo 2 on Sunday, July 16th.

Courtesy North Texas SC


  1. The match was interesting from the point of view of how Dallas and Seattle are using their respective developmental teams. Dallas fielded a starting eleven where only one player was 22 years old. Seattle started 7 players who are 22 and older. Dallas started 5 international players who had no prior experience in the US at either the collegiate or professional level. Seattle started 4 international players but all of them had either played at a US college or had played in one of the USL leagues prior to joining Tacoma.

    Both teams are trying to develop MLS level talent but Seattle seems to be focused on maintaining a more “traditional” reserve team while Dallas has gone all in on a “development potential” team. It also may indicate a lack of international scouting connections for Seattle or maybe just a determination not to invest in international players until they are proven commodities. I have no idea which approach is better or even if that question is relevant. One thing does seem clear – as long as Dallas adheres to their approach North Texas is going to consistently end up in the bottom of the league because it’s highly unlikely they will be able to compete with the older, more experienced teams.

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