PEORIA, Ariz. (Wednesday, June 18, 2014) – Arizona United Soccer Club’s historical run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup came to a close on Wednesday night following a 2-1 loss to Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy in front of 4,018 fans at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Arizona United SC captain Matt Kassel put the home side up a goal heading into the halftime break, but a second-half brace from LA Galaxy midfielder Gyasi Zardes ultimately ended Arizona United SC’s run in the fourth round of the knockout tournament.
When Arizona United SC defeated OKC Energy FC, 2-1, on May 28, the first-year franchise became the first team in Arizona’s soccer history to advance to the fourth round.
Arizona United SC enjoyed a strong start to the match and held the majority of the possession in the first half. The payoff occurred in the 37th-minute when converted defender Daniel Antúnez won a 50-50 on the right-touchline in the LA Galaxy half and played a diagonal ball to forward Kadeem Dacres, who then charged into the box. He whipped in a low cross that was then redirected into the net by Kassel for his first goal in all competitions.
LA Galaxy emerged the stronger side after the restart, and Zardes got the team going moments into second half when goalkeeper Evan Newton smothered his shot in the 46th minute.
Zardes eventually found the back of the net twice, and both goals scored were from cross-and-headers on opposites sides. Defender Robbie Rogers recorded the assist on the first goal in the 51st minute and midfielder Stefan Ishizaki noticed the second assist in the 53rd minute.
LA Galaxy then peppered the Arizona United SC goal for the majority of the half until the final ten minutes when Arizona United SC started to deploy more players forward.
Okaf0r had a look in the 80th minute that went wide, and had the best chance for an Arizona United SC equalizer in the 88th minute when a loose ball broke through the LA Galaxy backline. Okafor got a touch on the ball, but goalkeeper Jaime Penedo made a huge diving save to preserve the victory.
Arizona United SC returns to USL PRO league play on Saturday, June 21 when it plays host to LA Galaxy II at the Peoria Sports Complex at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at arizonaunited.com/tickets or by calling (623) 594-9606.
-Arizona United Soccer Club Match Report-
Match: Arizona United Soccer Club vs. LA Galaxy
Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round
Venue: Peoria Sports Complex
Kickoff: 7:30 PM PDT
Weather: Clear, and 90 degrees
|Arizona United Soccer Club||1||0||1|
AZ – Matt Kassel (assist: Kadeem Dacres) – 36th minute
LA – Gyasi Zardes (assist: Robbie Rogers) – 51st minute
LA – Gyasi Zardes (assist: Stefan Ishizaki) – 53rd minute
LA – Robbie Rogers (Yellow) –20th minute
AZ – Jon Okafor (Yellow) –74th minute
LA– Dan Gargan (Yellow) –84th minute
Arizona United SC: Evan Newton, Widner Saint-Cyr, London Woodberry, Tyler Ruthven, Scott Morrison, Paolo DelPiccolo, Daniel Antúnez (Brad Stisser – 80), Matt Kassel, Kadeem Dacres, Bradlee Baladez, Benji Lopez (Jon Okafor – 63)
Did not play: Jacole Turner, Devon Grousis, Joseph Toby, Charles Renken, Brandon Swartzendruber
LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo, Robbie Rogers, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tom Meyer, Dan Gargan, Baggio Husidic, Gyasi Zardes (Marcelo Sarvas – 82), Juninho, Stefan Ishizaki, Rob Friend (Ken Walker – 69), Chandler Hoffman (Samuel – 78)
Did not play: Brian Rowe, Kofi Opare, Oscar Sorto