The match should have never been played. The pitch looked worn down, puddled in many spots, and resembled a third-division English-looking pitch.
But 60 minutes prior to the match, match officials took a look at the pitch and deemed it safe to play on, much to the dismay of Arizona United and head coach Michael Dellorusso.
“They’re gonna try to play and and if they felt like it was unsafe for the players, then they would call it,” Dellorusso said following Arizona United’s 5-0 loss to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Saturday Sand Creek Stadium in Colorado Springs.
“Was the field playable? Absolutely not,” Dellorusso said.
For the first 45 minutes, Arizona United (4-4-1) was able to hold off Colorado Springs advances, playing defense on the worse end of the pitch, and able to keep the match scoreless at the end of the first half.
“When we came out at 10 a.m. and checked the field out, we devised a game plan from there,” Dellorusso said. “You can’t play. So we were prepared to play in whatever we had to, but we know it wasn’t going to be a soccer game.
“You couldn’t pass a ball 10 yards today.”
While the first half looked promising, the second half turned into a nightmare.
Colorado Springs (4-4-0) midfielder Luke Vercollone scored in the 49th minute after a great through ball from Aaron King found Vercollone who split defenders and drove it past Carl Woszczynski for the 1-0 lead.
That lead doubled in the 74th minute when former Grand Canyon University star Saaed Robinson drilled one past Woszczynski after a bad heading clearance from Scott Morrison.
The lead jumped to 3-0 in the 85th minute when Miguel Gonzalez got on the scoreboard putting one past Woszczynski and the rout was on.
Goals in the 87th minute by Martin Maybin and Vercollone again in the 89th minute wrapped up the scoring in the second half.
Despite the most lopsided loss in Arizona United’s short history, Dellorusso was proud of the team’s effort.
“It was a great effort for 90 minutes from our guys,” Dellorusso said. “They worked their ass off.
The more important goal of the night was coming out of the match injury-free, which Dellorusso said they did.
“That was a massive concern for us,” Dellorusso said.
The team has been outscored 19-6 since the middle of April, and Dellorusso hopes Saturday’s loss will be something they can use as motivation moving forward.
“This will light a fire under us,” Dellorusso said. “Cause they deserved better. The players on our team deserved better today.”