It was a tough week for Arizona United SC last week.
First came a debilitating 3-0 loss in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to Chula Vista FC, which was followed up with a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
So how’s the mood of the club following last week’s ugly results?
“It’s been good,” head coach Michael Dellorusso said. “Obviously guys are pissed coming off any sort of loss, especially losing 5-0.
“But it’s a group that understands we need to get over this. If you can’t get over a loss like that, then how do you get over little moments in a game. But overall it’s positive.”
“It’s been hard. There’s no hiding place,” defender Scott Morrison said. “You don’t want people to start hiding, you want to stand up and be counted. There’s no denying it.”
A trip to Canada just might help gets these guys over the hump, as a team that has gone 1-4-1 in its last 6 USL contests looks to right the ship Sunday against Vancouver Whitecaps 2.
This is a team that is a lot better than their record (2-4-3, 9 points) indicates, Dellorusso said.
“They’ve been very unlucky about getting results,” Dellorusso said. “They’re a good group of young players that an play good soccer. They have some weapons up front you have to be aware of, they’re very good at countering, and you know what, it’s a mixed bag.
“It’s an MLS team. They have a game Saturday night so you never know. You never know who’ll play on Sunday, but that’s why the big concentration has been on us.”
The Whitecaps are coming off a 2-1 win last week over Real Monarchs SLC, which was the first win since April 1 against the Austin Aztex, a span of six matches, in which the Whitecaps went 0-3-3 in that stretch.
The focus this week, Dellorusso said, has been getting better on both ends of the field.
“We have to do better in both 18s again,” Dellorusso said. “It’s that part where it’s just getting them hungry and giving that little extra bit and they’ve been good this week, so it’s how it translates on Sunday.”
“It’s just time to really figure (things) out.” Morrison said. (Mike’s) been good with us, he’s backed us. But it’s not a case of we’re running out of ideas, but it’s just things just haven’t quite worked that we’ve tried so far.
“We maybe just need to switch up a bit, and just try something a little different, because results don’t lie and the results of late haven’t been good. We need to figure it out and turn it around.”
Forward Long Tan makes his return to Vancouver, where he played for the MLS club in 2011 and 2012. Tan scored one goal in 17 appearances with the club. Tan leads Arizona United in scoring this year with four goals on the season.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS PLAYERS TO WATCH
ST Caleb Clarke – On loan from the parent MLS club, Clark has three goals and one assist in nine matches played, six of them starts.
ST Billy Schuler – Schuler has two goals in six matches played this season.
D Jordan Haynes – Haynes has been a strong defender for the Whitecaps this season, but has also been key to jumping into the attack on the wing.
ARIZONA UNITED POSSIBLE STARTING XI
GK Carl Woszczynski, LB Alex Shinsky, CB Tyler Ruthven, CB Brock Granger, RB Damian Rosales, MF Joey Dillon, MF Milton Blanco, MF Jose Cuevas, F Danny Garcia, F Brad Stisser, F Long Tan
ARIZONA UNITED POSSIBLE SUBS:
GK Zac Downes, D Devon Grousis, D Scott Morrison, D/MF George Malki, MF/F Jonathan Top, F Jordan Rideout, F Robbie Derschang, MF/F Cameron Vickers
Arizona United stares 13 days off in the face after Sunday’s game with Vancouver. If there is any time this club needs a win, and it has a team in front of them that has not had the results so far this season, it’s Vancouver. Like Dellorusso said, this could be a mixed bag because you don’t know sometimes who you are going to face.
JEFF WENDT’S PREDICTION:
Arizona United 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 1
AZU — Long Tan (40′)
VAN — Caleb Clarke (85′)
Jeff’s record overall (including Open Cup): 2-8
JEROD YOUNG’S PREDICTION:
Vancouver Whitecaps 2, Arizona United 1
VAN — Octavio Rivero (22′)
VAN– Darren Mattocks (48′)
AZU– Brad Stisser (56′)
Jerod’s record overall: 2-8