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Tucson Sweeps Past Seahorses
Velazco scores twice in 3-1 win against So. California

Saturday, May 18, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. — It took FC Tucson six PDL matches to score more than one goal in 2012. The club did that in just its second match in 2013. FC Tucson downed Southern California 3-1 on Saturday in front of a crowd of 747 at the Kino Sports Complex. The win gives FC Tucson (1-0-1) four points out of a possible six to begin the season.

Photo courtesy Josh Pearson“It was unbelievable,” said FC Tucson forward David Clemens “I’m grateful I got the chance to be in the lineup and the fans were unbelievable. It’s an awesome experience to be in front of all the fans. I mean the atmosphere is unbelievable there’s nothing else I could ask for.”

FC Tucson pressed the Seahorses (0-2-0) defense early and often, testing goalkeeper Cody Suppe for the first 20 minutes of the match. The club finally broke through following a penalty called in the box after Eli Galbraith-Knapp drew a foul. Ricardo Velazco calmly stepped up to the spot of the ball and hit the back of the net with his penalty kick to give Tucson a 1-0 lead at the 21st minute.

Twenty minutes later, Clemens had arguably the highlight of the night despite not even scoring a goal. Clemens picked up the ball in the attacking right corner of the field. With two defenders between him and the 18-yard box, Clemens darted past the first defender’s left side with a sliver of space left between him and the endline. Then he rushed past the second defender’s right side on his way into the 18-yard box. And finally he took a quick shot that passed the goalkeeper, only to slam against the crossbar.

Clemens had another chance moments later when Connor Brandt toe poked a slow-rolling pass to him into the box. The Virginia Tech product had to wait a little bit for the ball to reach him but he calmly shot the ball into the back of the net to give Tucson a 2-0 lead at the 44th minute.

“I felt that I could get another one,” Clemens said. “I kept plugging it in, and Connor played a great ball in and I just slipped it past the goalie.”

Southern California opened the second half on the attack, notching a shot on goal less than five minutes into the second frame. Then in the 49th minute, the Seahorses’ Zach Bautista cut the lead to one.

The game slowed down a bit after the goal and neither team could create any dangerous chances. Then Southern California’s Geoff Bowman earned a red card in the 83rd minute, which all but killed any chance for the Seahorses to tie the match. Velazco iced the match with his 86th-minute goal, his second of the match.

“It feels fantastic to finally score,” Velazco said. “It’s my first goal and I made one the second half (and) it feels great. The fans are great, I love them, everyone here is fantastic. I love everybody. I couldn’t be more happy.”

FC Tucson’s next match will be on Tuesday night in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup against the San Antonio Scorpions.

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