Arizona Exports: Gordon named SBI Player of the Month, Thompson scores his first goal of season, Hansen scores for national team in both matches
Arizona Exports is a feature in which we track the progress of those from the state who are playing professional soccer. It is an evolving feature, as we continue to find more players who once kicked it in Arizona and are now kicking it on some of the largest stages in the game. If we’ve left anyone out (and we expect we have), please feel free to leave their name in the comments.
A brief note, all decisions as to who will be featured as an Arizonan will be made by AZKI and can be subject to debate. Born in the Valley of the Sun? Yes. Born in the House of the Rising Sun? No. In between? We’ll decide.
If you’re wondering why we didn’t include any U.S. Open Cup matches in this week’s edition, it’s because they’re in last week’s super special USOC AZ Exports rundown!
Chad Barrett? we’re skeptical he’s true AZ, but he did score in 84 minutes of the Galaxy’s 2-1 reserve victory against the Portland Timbers.
We’ll be pretty light in this section this week with only one league match contested since last time we wrote. The match, a win for New England Revolution over the Chicago Fire, didn’t involve any Arizonans.
The biggest news this week is probably the fact that San Jose Earthquakes Alan Gordon was named Soccer By Ives’ Player of the Month for May. The national soccer blog selected Gordon over clubhouse favorite Dwayne De Rosario based on the Gilbert native’s rescue of his team on three separate occasions.
Despite nearly half of the league’s teams being knocked out of the competition by lower-division opposition only Nat Borchers, Tony Cascio, Pablo Mastroeni and Barrett had their clubs eliminated from USOC play.
It’s likely we’ll see Nick DeLeon and Brandon McDonald suit up in the ketchup-red third kit of D.C. United for their USOC match with the Philadelphia Union this evening.
Danny Cruz was initially expected to miss four weeks with a hamstring injury. He’s only two weeks in, but is progressing well according to Steve Goff of the Washington Post. Still, don’t expect to see him tonight.
Brad Evans was an unused sub in the Sounders USOC match with Atlanta. You can see if he gets in against USASA side Cal FC on Fox Soccer tonight, as the match will be televised.
Andrew Weber was the goalkeeper Saturday for the Seattle Sounders reserves, who lost to Vancouver’s reserve side, 2-1. There’s a chance Weber will get into a senior match at some point, with normal number one Michael Gspurning out longer than expected from his hip injury. You have to figure Bryan Meredith, who has been superb for Seattle, will need a break at some point.
Blair Gavin started for Chivas USA in their USOC match and has a shot to do the same tonight against the Carolina Railhawks
Matthew Hoffman of Chivas USA blog The Goat Parade says Chivas USA will be bagging goals more frequently this summer – something with which Gavin could assist.
Abe Thompson played 75 minutes for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and took a successful penalty for the Strikers’ opening goal in a 3-1 triumph over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Video highlights here with the Thompson goal at the 1:43 mark. It’s the first goal for the Tucson-born forward this season.
The San Antonio Scorpions and the Minnesota Stars played to a 0-0 draw Saturday. Esteban Bayona came on and played 28 minutes as part of a three-man front for the Scorpions as they sought a goal.
Justin Davis was rested ahead of the Stars’ USOC clash with the San Jose Earthquakes. Perhaps he’ll get to square off with Alan Gordon.
Bayona and the Scorpions will try to earn a trip to the quarterfinals by defeating the Charlotte Eagles.
The Puerto Rico Islanders lost to the Carolina Railhawks, 2-1. Jamie Cunningham came out at halftime, but head coach Adrian Whitbread said after the game that Cunningham is fine. Not really sure what happened, one match report just mentions it was unfortunate Cunningham had to come out of the match.
Of course, the Islanders were missing a large portion of their team with the Puerto Rican national team in action against Nicaragua. That includes Phoenix-born Josh Hansen, who had a rousing showing for El Hurracán Azul (which Wikipedia says is the nickname for the P.R. national team. I hope people actually use that.).
In Friday’s match, Hansen scored the third goal in a 3-1 victory for Puerto Rico on a crossed shot of some kind after entering the match in the second half. It was the first time Hansen had seen action for the national team since suffering an injury last season. He’s featured in the main photo of this match recap.
He scored the only goal for Puerto Rico in a rematch two days later on a cross from Alexis Rivera, and I was able to find video shot from the crowd of the goal.
I dug deep, but couldn’t find any other highlights featuring Hansen, though I did find one of the team’s other goals in what seems to be from televised footage. A commenter mentions that he watched the matches on an online stream. If that’s the case, there might be something more out there in terms of highlights. As always, post in the comments if you have any links or info.
After Hansen’s goal, the Puerto Rican side came down in intensity and conceded one to Nicaragua. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Spain is coming to the capital to play Puerto Rico in August as Puerto Rico continue their build up to the Caribbean Championship, which they hope will end in a Gold Cup berth. It’s the first time Puerto Rico has faced a World Cup champion, understates the press release. The match was announced in March, but I’d missed it until now. I’ll keep you updated on that one as well.
Michael Zaher went the full 90 in the Rochester Rhinos’ 1-0 loss to the Richmond Kickers according to the USL stat sheet. Other reports say he was subbed out late in the second half. Jeff DiVeronica who covers the Rhinos for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, tweeted that Zaher was injured toward the end of the match, which would lend some credence to that theory. It seems like there might’ve been a stoppage time sub. We’ll keep you posted on any news that emerges ahead of a home match with Wilmington on Friday.
That Wilmington team shocked the league by handing leaders Orlando City their first loss of the season, 3-1. Perhaps the Lions were weary after their strong effort in USOC defeat. Rob Valentino played 43 minutes for Orlando City before having to come out because of hamstring trouble.
Just a quick aside here, I suppose it’s the most prevalent injury in the sport altogether, but our AZ guys seem to have a lot of hamstring trouble. I believe at least seven Arizonans playing professionally have missed matches this season because of the troublesome muscle.
Rob also got married a few weeks ago. Congrats to him and his new bride!
The Los Angeles Blues, along with Irving Garcia, don’t play again until the 15th.
Elsewhere everyone’s season is over, but all three players are potentially on the move.
Intelligent people continue to speculate Mix Diskerud will be able to make the loan move to KAA Gent permanent.
Luis Robles has been rumored to return to MLS. Don’t get confused if you see some reports in the Mexican press about a Luis Robles moving to Atlas. Those are referring to Luis Enrique Robles, an outfield player who came up with Atlas but moved to Veracruz this season.
No news on Robbie Findley.