With its surging population and fantastic winter weather, Arizona has long been a natural hotbed for youth soccer. Several clubs from the Grand Canyon State are known throughout the region and indeed the entire nation for their success on the pitch, and that success has produced players who have produced at very high professional levels for both club and country.
With Arizona United SC now in its third season in the United Soccer League – and the league’s fourth year in Arizona overall – fans and players alike are benefiting from the opportunity to play pro, right here at home.
Indeed, United’s roster is bursting with locally-grown talent, and a young man from just down Interstate 10 now calls the Valley home. “It feels great,” new midfield signing Minh Vu told team media yesterday. “I’m glad to be back here and look forward to working with the team, and see what I can do.
“Just being a local boy from Tucson helped me, and knowing that there’s a team up in Phoenix [at] the next level, it’s great, and now that I’m here, I want to work hard for the team. It’s great because it’s now, Arizona’s known…for soccer now.”
The 25-year-old put some miles under his feet between his first stint in Tucson and signing for Arizona United. After two years at Pima Community College, Vu transferred to Penn State University before signing with the Rochester Rhinos of USL in 2014. Vu went the full 90 in a 0-1 loss to Arizona on June 14 that year. He most recently played at FC Tucson in the Premier Development League, where he caught the eye of United head coach Frank Yallop.
“We’ve had our eye on him since preseason,” Yallop said, “and I felt he was playing well, and we needed help in that area, you know, wide and just that sort of underneath forward position. He’s tricky and he’s smart with the ball so it was a good decision for us.”
Joining the likes of Blair Gavin among others, Vu is another pioneer helping to pave the trail from the state’s exciting youth scene to its one-and-only professional club.