Kitsap puts an end to FC Tucson - Tucson News Now

Kitsap puts an end to FC Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ -

FC Tucson captain, Ricardo Velazco, winced in pain as two team physicians carried him around the perimeter of the field at the end of the match, his legs dangling above the grass. His season over.

The 2014 season for FC Tucson also came to a bruised and battered end following a 3-0 loss to the Kitsap Pumas in the Western Conference Finals.

“Up and down the field, it just wasn’t our day,” said FC Tucson defender Greg Carter. “Sometimes that’s just the explanation you have, it wasn’t our day.”

FC Tucson struggled to keep possession from kickoff, falling behind early in the seventh minute. Pumas defender Cory Keitz, who outran most FC Tucson defenders, was on the receiving end of a cross he sent into the back of the net.

Both teams went scoreless the rest of the half, Kitsap looking like the better team with crisperpassess, better touches and stout defense.

“I have to give all the credit to Kitsap,” FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz said. “They’re extremely organized. The early goal took the wind out of the sails a little bit. … Kitsap’s a pro team. These guys are used to this.”

Ten minutes into the second half, Kitsap scored its second goal. Miguel Gonzalez got inside his defender as a teammate headed the ball back toward him. Alone on the net, Gonzalez slid the ball through a sprawled Billy Thompson.

The Pumas effectively put the match away in the 60th minute when Keitz and teammate Justin Ortinau put on a passing clinic, freeing Ortinau to slash his way through the defense and tuck his shot inside the far right side.

A straight red given to Tommy Ramos in the 72nd minute made a loss likely. Losing Velazco to injury in stoppage time made the loss a certainty. A final red given to Vance Rookwood left the club beaten up with just eight men on the pitch.

Still, FC Tucson’s supporter’s group, the Cactus Pricks, continued chanting “F-C Tuc-son” well over 20 minutes following the end of the match.

“For lack of a better term, we got our butts handed to us, 3-0, and they’re still chanting like we won, 3-0,” Thompson said. “That tells you everything you need to know right there.”

Added Carter: “Tucson is my new home for the summer. I love the fans, I love the city, I love the management, everybody involved. … It means a lot. (This season) has been great.”

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