The final 30 minutes of Tuesday night’s game between Arizona United and Portland Timbers showed the compilation of Arizona United’s season in a nutshell.
Holding a 1-0 lead after Tony Cascio’s 22nd-minute goal, United gave up goals in the 60th minute and in the second minute of added time, sending Portland to a 2-1 win and officially eliminating United from the playoff race.
“It’s the story of our season,” Arizona United head coach Frank Yallop said. “Poor defending when you need them to be strong and correct. Had chances, but another loss which is disappointing.
“I mean it looks like we are going to see the game out 1-0 or see whatever the game brings us, but we can’t defend when it really matters,” Yallop added. “They had a lot of pace, but it’s just easy to score against us it seems. Not all the time but the two goals were very simple.”
United struggled all season to find the goal it needed or the defensive stand it needed to win some of its matches this season, and Tuesday night was no different.
“Yeah, but that’s us. When it really matters, were not there,” Yallop said. “That’s the story of the season and the games we’ve lost. Played not bad, quite entertaining game, should have scored more than one goal, didn’t, and lost the game.”
First it was Augustine Williams in the 60th minute with a header past Carl Woszczynski, and the nail in the coffin came two minutes into added time as Neco Brett put one past Woszczynski for the winner.
“Yeah you know it’s a tough loss,” Woszczynski said. “You know I thought we did enough throughout the game to get three points, but you know they finished their chances and we didn’t necessarily, so that’s what it comes down to.”
Cascio thought fatigue may have played a role at the end of the match.
“I say a little bit fatigued,” Cascio said. “I mean you can tell the play, we got a little bit tired. Guys just, yeah, we got tired and its just tough. It’s tough to go 90 minutes that pace and I thought our subs did well. They just got a goal at the end and it’s kind of how it happens sometimes.”
United will hope to wrap up its season on a high note when the club hosts Real Monarchs SLC Saturday before closing on Sept. 24 against this same T2 club up in Portland.
“Yeah I mean, two games left. You know guys in this league you know, a lot of one year contracts. Guys are fighting for deals here you know, fighting for deals in other places,” Woszczynski said. “You gotta keep playing well you know us individually and as a team. Think we’re in 14th now so a couple more wins we can still get up to ninth, maybe 10th and it looks a lot better than 14th so hopefully we can hold it together and keep going.”
“Now it just comes down to pride,” Cascio added. “We just play for pride. We play for our contracts, we play for our family. We go out there and just do it you know, kind of for the love of the game and just try and get some wins and I guess just go into next season with a few wins and a little momentum in the offseason.”