New signee Aaron Dennis makes great first impression in front of home crowd
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (August 15, 2015) — Despite a spirited attack in the second half, Arizona United SC fell to Orange County Blues FC, 3-0, in United’s fourth and final meeting with the Blues. The clubs split the season series with a 2-2-0 record.
“It’s a bit of inconsistency all the around and it’s very frustrating,” said Arizona United SC head coach Michael Dellorusso.
Arizona gave up the match’s first goal in the 35th minute, from a Christopher Santana strike, and went into the half down a goal. But in the second half, United received a spark from new signee Aaron Dennis. The former Villanova forward made his presence known almost immediately, less than a minute into the second half, with a shot on frame that OC’s Pepe Miranda saved.
Then in the 50th minute, Dennis received a cheeky backheel pass from forward Long Tan and fired a dangerous shot toward the frame, forcing the Blues’ defenders to deflect the shot away for a corner. Two minutes later, Dennis served a perfect cross into the box for Long Tan, whose shot was deflected away for another corner.
“I think (Dennis) was great,” Dellorusso said. “He has the mentality that we needed and I was very happy with him.”
Added defender Romeo Filipovic: “This is what we expect from players who come off the bench. They make a difference when they come on. And he made (a difference) today.”
Arizona appeared to have goals on two separate occasions during the match. In the 42nd minute, defender Scott Morrison found forward Dennis Chin on a far diagonal ball from left to right. Chin hammered a header into the back of the net, but the offside flag went up.
In the 57th minute, Morrison served a perfect free kick into the box and found defender Eduar Zea, who headed the ball into the back of the net. The Scottsdale Stadium crowd erupted before everyone noticed the assistant referee signaled offside.
“It’s all about finishing chances,” Chin said. “We had so much of the play in the second half, even when it was 1-0 when we had all the chances. But if you don’t put it away, they come back with theirs.”
Orange County finished off the match with two additional goals in the second half. Denzel Slager caught United unguarded off the run of play and beat Arizona goalkeeepr Carl Woszczynski one on one in the 78th minute to make it 2-0. His teammate, Pavle Popara, ended the evening’s scoring in stoppage time with a goal of his own.
United play again on Saturday, August 22, against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Scottsdale Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.