USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Thursday, March 10, 2016
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – USL Western Conference rivals Arizona United SC and Orange County FC played to a 0-0 draw on Thursday afternoon as the teams met in a preseason scrimmage at Grande Sports World.
Arizona had the majority of the play, but wasunable to find the back of the net as Orange County’s defense held firm. However, United Coach Frank Yallop was pleased with what he saw from his side.
“We can always work on finishing,” said Yallop. “Game situations are different. … We could’ve scored four goals. We made the good runs. But the last little bit, the sharpness in front of goal is probably the last thing to come.”
Orange County almost took the lead in the third minute as Arizona goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski was forced into a kick save from close range. Arizona also went close twice inside the opening 10 minutes, but a shot from Chris Cortez went high of the crossbar in the sixth minute, and Gibson Bardsley had an effort from a similar position blocked to safety.
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Bardsley was active throughout the first half, and almost created a chance for Sam Garza with a good run and cross that was cleared away at the last moment. The former Tulsa Roughnecks FC forward also set up an opportunity for Cortez from the left side, but Cortez’s shot was saved.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s defense was able to hold the Blues’ attack in check. Orange County had taken a 1-0 win against Indy Eleven in its previous preseason encounter in Casa Grande through a goal by Trevin Caesar, but was unable to create many chances.
“Everything was a lot more organized today,” Woszczynski said “From the defense, up to the midfield, up to the strikers. How we pressured the ball, when we decided to pressure the ball. I thought our back line was more together today, more flat, and moved together well. So, I think defensively we were a lot more organized this week.”
United got a big chance to take the lead in the second half when it was awarded a penalty kick after Bardsley was brought down in the area. Garza stepped up, but his shot to the left corner was saved. While the game ended scoreless, though, Yallop took positives from the contest.
“We’ve got to be difficult to play against and I thought we were today,” Yallop said. “I thought we created some great chances to score.”