Arizona United Soccer Club bounced back from a season-opening loss over the weekend and shut out Seattle Sounders FC 2, 2-0, at Starfire Stadium. The win is United’s first ever on the road in Washington and the first win of 2016.
“We played very well tonight,” said Arizona United head coach Frank Yallop. “Defensively we were sound. I think offensively we created some great chances. All around it was a very, very good performance and a great win.”
United created chances early, getting the ball into the box via cross or run three times in the first seven minutes. The final attack resulted in forward Chris Cortez’s header hitting the post.
Midfielder Gibson Bardsley finally broke the scoreless draw in the 16th minute. Cortez drew the defense out by running wide and down the left side of the field. He then sent a deep cross to a wide open Bardsley, who hammered his header toward the far left post, beating the goalkeeper.
Eight minutes later, Arizona forced a turnover in the offensive half of the field. Midfielder Blair Gavin got the ball in space and ran up field before sliding a pass through the defense to Cortez down the left flank. Cortez took a shot at the far-right post, and beat the keeper to double the score.
“Chris is a handful,” Yallop said. “Chris is always difficult to play against. … Tonight I thought we saw a Chris Cortez-type of performance. I see him as versatile up front. He can play wide, he can play as a ten. He can play all types of spots and it’s just good to have that type of player available to you.”
Arizona United continues its five-match road trip this coming Saturday, April 2, with a match against Sacramento Republic FC. The last time the two teams met at Bonney Field, United walked away with a point in a scoreless draw. The match begins at 7:30 PM and can be watched by going to ArizonaUnited.com