Arizona Exports: Weber injured, Cascio assists, Bayona scores for third-straight week, Garcia scores for Blues, Diskerud update
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. Usually I write a joke here about that process, but it’s still too hot for jokes. I went to the Grand Canyon this weekend and, as a transplant, it filled me with Arizona pride, so hopefully these guys have been there and stuff. OK!
Faux export Chad Barrett came on with 16 minutes to go for the LA Galaxy in their wild 4-3 loss to San Jose and did a fine job putting some passes together, but he didn’t do much more than that.
Oh, time for that ad Garrett likes to put in:
Gilbert native Alan Gordon also came on as a substitute in the aforementioned 4-3 Earthquakes win. While Gordon didn’t score for the Quakes, he had a few goal-scoring opportunities. Gordon also committed four fouls in his 22 minutes of play, something that seems to be part of a new-look Alan Gordon that not only comes in late and scores goals but also commits fouls.
Gordon was sent off for his part in a stoppage-time altercation as things got ugly toward the end of Seattle’s 1-0 U.S. Open Cup defeat of the Earthquakes on Tuesday. He had previously been yellow carded for a foul in the 49th minute. In non-disciplinary matters, Gordon did get the start in the match and had two shots among other stats.
Andrew Weber was the keeper for the Sounders that night, getting his third-straight start. This one came against a club that declined to pick up his contract option in the offseason, so the clean sheet may have been extra sweet for Weber.
Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t turn out extra sweet. Weber again got the start, but was injured late in the first half. A visibly struggling Weber gritted his teeth and played his way to the halftime break with what turned out to be a groin strain that will keep him out for 2-4 weeks.
Brad Evans went the full 90 minutes of the cup match, playing mostly on the right side of midfield. He had a pretty quiet game by his standards.
He also had a disappointing weekend match (as did all the Sounders, who were leading 2-1 before conceding a goal at the last minute to the Revolution for a 2-2 draw. They haven’t won in eight league matches). Evans was subbed out in the 56th minute. It was a move that confused the commentary crew and was one that surprised me as well, since it seemed Evans was having a better game than Andy Rose. Other than the dude at Sounder At Heart who really hates Brad Evans, others agree. Whatever the reason, Evans came off. He later told Jeremiah Oshan that despite the skid the Sounders are on, confidence remains high.
Tony Cascio came on for the last 16 minutes of the Colorado Rapids romp over the Portland Timbers and was able to contribute, assisting the third and final goal. Cascio was played a gorgeous ball by Martin Rivero he was able to run onto on the left side. His work wasn’t done though, as he still had to cut inside and beat the keeper. He did so, chipping it to teammate Jamie Smith who put it in the net.
Things just aren’t getting better for Nat Borchers and Real Salt Lake. Sure, Borchers got to wear the captain’s armband and played well Saturday, but he would’ve traded that for a victory. Instead, a 2-0 loss to Columbus puts the streak at three-straight losses for RSL.
Looking at the numbers, he had seven clearances and picked off three passes. Perhaps more remarkable, though, is his 51 successful passes compared to only 5 unsuccessful ones.
During his weekly appearance on the Bill and Hans show on Salt Lake’s ESPN radio station, Borchers broke down what went wrong in Ohio – on the field and off.
Chivas USA was off this weekend, but Blair Gavin went the full 90 minutes in a USOC victory against Charlotte. This guarantees us at least on Arizona native in the USOC final, as Gavin and Chivas USA will take on Evans, Weber and the Sounders in the semis.
Gavin was all over the field against the Eagles and had a shot blocked in addition to a successful day keeping things linked up.
After getting drubbed by the New York Red Bulls last week, D.C. United came out with something to prove against the Montreal Impact. They did so by putting a 3-0 hurting on the expansion side.
Brandon McDonald had his usual day, playing the entire match in central defense and even getting a shot attempt this week.
Nick DeLeon came on at left midfield 15 minutes from the whistle and had several good efforts on goal as United sought, and later found, a third goal.
DeLeon was also named the 10th-best uncapped USMNT-eligible player by Brian Sciaretta of Yanks Abroad, who cites him as a likely candidate for a camp invite in January of 2013.
Danny Cruz was an unused substitute for DCU.
No update this week on the condition of Pablo Mastroeni who has been out of the Rapids squad with concussion-related symptoms for several months.
For the third week in a row, Esteban Bayona scored for the San Antonio Scorpions. The forward headed in a cross from teammate Hans Denissen in the 23rd minute for the opening goal in a 3-0 victory against Atlanta that, coupled with the Puerto Rico Islanders draw, put the expansion squad on top of the table. It was also the straw that broke the Silverbacks’ back as they fired coach Alex Pineda Chacón and have hired former USMNT forward and outspoken Fox Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda to replace him on an interim basis.
Bayona’s goal is at the 1:15 mark of this recap video featuring the fantastic Arch Bell on the analysis.
In the aforementioned scoreless draw with FC Edmonton, Islanders forward Josh Hansen came into the match in the 56th minute. He got a yellow card in the 75th minute. Then, according to the official NASL book came on as a sub yet again. While seemingly remarkable, this actually is an error, as Yaw Danso came on. That was the only mention of Hansen, so we’ll stop here instead of writing three or four paragraphs like we have been lately with Hansen lighting it up across all competitions.
Our Twitter stalking of Hansen’s fellow Islander Jamie Cunningham continues, and we can tell you the injury that will keep him out for the rest of the year is indeed an ACL tear. We can also tell you he took advantage of some cloud cover today to take a nap.
The Minnesota Stars continue to stumble against Tampa Bay, with the Rowdies again taking points off last year’s NASL champions. Justin Davis had two shots for the Stars, but the entire defensive performance was disappointing from the Stars. The Rowdies outshot the Stars 19-18, but had a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Abe Thompson came on for the last 12 minutes of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ 2-1 victory against Carolina. Thompson registered a shot while the Strikers were protecting their lead.
The Los Angeles Blues had been out of action for about a fortnight, but their return to play wasn’t as glorious as they’d hoped. The Blues lost to Charlotte, 3-2, and Wilmington, 4-2. Fans who don’t care about the Blues and just want to know about San Luis native Irving Garcia (read: most of you) will excited to learn Garcia scored his second goal of the season in the waning (full moon tonight!) moments of the loss to Charlotte. Garcia hit it from outside the box after Bright Dike brought it down and played assist. The only video I could find was this full match video, but head to 1:34:30 mark to see the strike. I wasn’t going to go find it for you guys, but I got lucky clicking through.
After coming on in the 71st minute of the game with Charlotte, Garcia played the full 90 against Wilmington. He wasn’t as active this game, as he didn’t make the Hammerheads’ game report.
Rob Valentino returned to training with Orlando City two weeks ago, but he didn’t travel with the side as they played two games in the Northeast – both draws.
Michael Zaher remains out of action, but we’ve finally learned the nature of injury he sustained. It’s a hip problem that has kept Zaher out of the Rochester Rhinos lineup for most of the month.
It appears Mix Diskerud is back in training with Norwegian club Stabaek, though his loan deal with Gent doesn’t end until August 1. He has expressed hope for a permanent move to the Belgian club, but the Buffaloes haven’t announced whether or not he factors in their plans.
While he declined to comment on the contract situation, Diskerud did talk about his experience with the U.S. U-23 team that failed to qualify for this summer’s Olympics. Diskerud said his performance in the qualifying games earned praise from manager Jurgen Klinsmann, which Diskerud hopes will lead to a call-up to the full side soon.
This piece also produced what has to be one of my favorite machine-translated quotes in a while:
“It was really suck. It was not a fun way to break out,” Mix said of crashing out of qualification, according to Google Translate.
Robbie Findley was on the AZKI podcast last week. He should be heading back to Nottingham to join up with Forest for preseason this week. In fact, he could be there already. That’s about all I’ve got on him, so give that podcast another listen!
Instead of making a rumored move to MLS, Luis Robles has taken a job as the Executive President of the Mexican Banking Association. Just kidding, that’s a different Luis Robles! At least, I think it is.