Arizona United’s offense looking to continue strong play, defense looking to tighten up

Chris Cortez and Arizona United have brought the offense of late - Michael Rincon /
Chris Cortez and Arizona United have brought the offense of late – Michael Rincon /

Editor’s note: On the day this piece was published, Kyle Kepner was mistakenly credited as author. This piece was written by Joe Steen.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Arizona United, but one thing that has remained consistent over the last few weeks is their offense.

Since the return of Chris Cortez back on June 11th, Arizona United have managed to not only create more chances but score more goals. United have scored 11 goals in their last 7 games including 2 goals this past weekend in a 3-2 loss to Seattle Sounders FC 2, despite missing midfielder Luke Rooney who’s been a big influence in their build-up play.

“We created the better of chances had the better of play and possession,” said Cortez after the game on Saturday. “It was a matter of just turning that around and continuing to do the right things and not losing our cool or anything like that. Obviously it paid off in the end, two finishes, two goals and then turn it around and that was the focus to keep doing what we were doing.”

Arizona United head coach Frank Yallop has also been impressed with how well the team has been attacking, but says the defense needs to improve.

“I think we’ve attacked well and played well Saturday, but it just shows we’re fragile,” Yallop said on Tuesday. “We concede 3 goals and I wouldn’t say they were out of nothing, but pretty simple goals against us. But we created a ton of chances and played pretty well going forward so it’s close. I’m pretty pleased with the attacking side of things, we just have to tighten up defensively.”

Yallop said that it’s not only the back four that needs to improve, but the team as a whole.

“It’s not just the back four, it’s everybody defending. If you let runners go from midfield and it’s overloading and all those things. So we’re trying our best to do it and that’s usually the last thing that comes with a new team is cohesiveness and I think we’re a little bit disjointed with our attack and defense. Our transitional play needs to get a bit better.”

Yallop also gave an update on the status of midfielder Miguel Timm, who has been sidelined since May 18th with a sports hernia and a groin strain he suffered in Arizona United’s 5-0 win over FC Tucson.

“He’s probably a couple of weeks away,” Yallop said Tuesday. “He proved when he played that he’s a very good player. We miss him and I think any time you have someone like Miguel available for the team you’re a better team. Once we get him back and healthy in about two to three weeks it’ll be good for us.”

Timm has been back in training since the beginning of July and he feels he’s recovering well.

“It feels good coming back; it’s been a long layoff,” Timm said Tuesday. “I think I’ve recovered well for the most part. I’ve still got a bit of pain, but it’s getting better each day.”