Arizona Exports: More plaudits for DC gang, Davis scores late equalizer for Stars

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 know 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. Has never ‘sprung back’ for Daylight Saving? Yes. Has never shopped for savings at the mall in daylight? No. In between? We’ll decide.

We’re still not counting Chad Barrett as an Arizonan. We can, however, report that he was impressive in his 16 minutes against FC Dallas on the weekend, assisting the game-tying goal in stoppage time.

MLS

The trio of Arizonans at DC United to continue to excel as the club continues to climb the table.

This week it’s none other than Brandon McDonald getting involved in the points, notching an assist on the first goal of United’s 3-2 victory against Houston at RFK Stadium. He had his usual solid game in defense, and again went without a foul after several weeks committing multiple fouls.

Danny Cruz wasn’t so lucky, earning a yellow card for his efforts against his former club. He packed it in to his 65 minutes of play, with a key pass, a shot on goal, and a few cross attempts in addition to the booking.

By Nick DeLeon‘s high standards, it was a quiet week since he didn’t score a goal. Still, the rookie handled set piece duty and took two shots while going the full 90. His fantastic form in the past month has earned him Soccer By Ives’ Rookie of the Month award for the month of April. It means the state is two-for-two after Tony Cascio won last month’s honor from the national site.

It was a big week for Cascio and the Colorado Rapids, emphatically snapping a three-game losing streak by bagging four goals in a 4-0 defeat of Chivas USA. Cascio scored the opening goal, assisted the second and had several other shots that challenged Goats’ keeper Dan Kennedy. Cascio also completed 76% of the passes he attempted as he went the full 90 minutes.

Only five minutes from Blair Gavin in the defeat for Chivas USA.

After a furious stretch of games, and the return of back line partner Jamison Olave from suspension, Nat Borchers was rested in the weekend’s victory for Real Salt Lake. His replacement, Chris Schuler, assisted the opening goal of the 3-2 result over Toronto. Borchers did play and had 11 clearances in RSL’s midweek draw with FC Dallas.

He didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, but Brad Evans was all over the pitch in the Seattle Sounders’ victory against Chicago. He completed more than 40 passes from the midfield while only giving away nine and even added a clearance in the six-yard box to help keep the 2-1 victory.

Andrew Weber is still working through a severe high ankle sprain, but did some fitness drills last week.

Alan Gordon didn’t play in San Jose’s 2-1 victory against Philadelphia. He’s continuing to fight through a hamstring strain.

Pablo Mastroeni remains out with post-concussion complications.

NASL

After Justin Davis struggled a bit last week, he came roaring back for the Minnesota Stars. The Stars were locked in competition with the Atlanta Silverbacks and were chasing the game, trailing 3-2. Then, as the superb InsideMNSoccer describes it:

But the come-from-behind kids did it once again, and once again it was deep into injury time. This time it was Minnesota’s left back Justin Davis with the heroics to pull a point for the team. Davis, who had been pushing hard up field the last 15 minutes of the game, out-jumped the Silverbacks to win a ball just past the midfield line. He took a look up field, pushed the ball forward and unleashed a 35-yard blast that found its way past Illyes and into the upper 90 of the right side of the Atlanta goal.

It was a fantastic strike from Davis, which you can see on the highlights embedded on the previous link.

Abe Thompson might be seeing some more action, with Costa Rican striker Andy Herron out for at least two months for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after being injured in midweek. Thompson came in during the 73rd minute of Saturday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies and lodged an assist in stoppage time in the defeat. Earlier in the week, he sat out the Strikers’ victory against Jamie Cunningham and the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Cunningham, the Arizona Exports disciplinary leader, was booked in the 38th minute of the midweek defeat. That kicks off a long break for the Islanders, who are not in league action again until May 12.

USL PRO

Irving Garcia and the Los Angeles Blues won’t play again in the league until Friday, but they continue to add to the squad. Garcia will apparently be able to set up former MLS forward Maykel Galindo as the Blues search for their first goal of the season. To stay fresh during the off week, the Blues played a closed-door scrimmage with some of the LA Galaxy. The game included the aforementioned is-he-or-isn’t-he-Arizonan Chad Barrett scoring from the penalty spot and setting up several other opportunities.

Garcia was also named to the USL PRO’s team of the week for his play in Week 3′s defeat to the Rochester Rhinos.

Michael Zaher is still recovering from an injury of some sort and didn’t make the trip to Dayton for the Rhinos 1-0 victory against the Dutch. Last week it was called a groin problem, this week he was listed with an ankle injury. Either way, we’ll let you know if he gets in to the Rhinos’ home opener this weekend.

Elsewhere

None of the Arizona natives playing abroad (that we know of) even made the bench for this weekend’s matches.

After some solid play last week, Robbie Findley wasn’t in the side for Nottingham Forest’s victory against relegated Portsmouth.

Mix Diskerud was not in the 18 for KAA Gent as they defeated Club Brugge to go third in the Belgian league. They’re again on pace for Europa League play, though it remains to be seen if Mix will be with them during the next campaign.

No Luis Robles for Karlsruher SC and it’s a loss this for the 2. Bundesliga side. The side and their new manager still have hope to stay in the second division though, with several others struggling to get points near the bottom of the table.

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