The Swope Park Rangers played to a 0-0 draw with Arizona United SC on Saturday night. The game was the Rangers’ second in the Desert Diamond Cup where they remain undefeated after claiming a 3-1 win over MLS side the Colorado Rapids.
While it was the Rangers who struck early in Wednesday’s game, Arizona United almost inflicted a similar punishment when, in the second minute, James Nortey found himself one-on-one with Jon Kempin but his chipped finish came back off the bar.
SPR reacted well with Christian Duke firing wide two minutes later and Tyler Pasher seeing his shot saved out for a corner just before the 10 minute mark. It was Arizona’s turn to threaten again in the 13th minute, when a corner was headed on frame but Kempin produced a stunning save to keep the ball out before also tipping the rebound around the post.
Dane Kelly almost put the Rangers ahead midway through the first half but his lob was too strong and went over the bar as the first half finished scoreless.
Marc Dos Santos made eight changes at halftime for the Rangers while Arizona also made a host of changes at the break. Arizona fashioned the first chance of the second half, with Jose Cuevas curling a free kick against the outside of the post in the 63rd mintue, and AZU continued to push forward. Twelve minutes later, Fred Alberto Garcia forced Zac Lubin into a low save to preserve his side’s shutout.
The Rangers went close once more before the end of the game, but Ryan James could only fire over the bar when well positioned as both sides settled for the draw and the Rangers maintained their unbeaten start to preseason.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Arizona United SC
February 20, 2016 – Kino Sports Complex North Grandstand (Tucson, Ariz.)
Swope Park Rangers 0, Arizona United SC 0
AZU – Blair Gavin (Yellow Card) 17’
SPR – Dane Kelly (Yellow Card) 28’
SPR – Hakim Diaw (Yellow Card) 65’
AZU – Spencer Johnson (Yellow Card) 73’
Swope Park Rangers:
First Half: Jon Kempin; Jimmy Mulligan, Oumar Ballo, Jacob VanCompernolle, Christian Duke; Alex Molano, Ualefi, Nansel Selbol; Jimmy Medranda, Dane Kelly (Alberto Sanchez 33’), Tyler Pasher.
Second Half: Zac Lubin; Johnny Grant, Hakim Diaw, Amer Didic, Ezra Armstrong; Mouhamed Dabo, Tomas Granitto, Nansel Selbol (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 69’); Jimmy Mulligan (Will Little 62’), Alberto Sanchez, Tyler Pasher (Ryan James 65’).
Arizona United SC:
First Half: Carl Wosczcynski; Peter Kelly, Scott Morrison, Tommy Williams, Uchenna Uzo; Sam Garza, Miguel Timm, Blair Gavin, Tony Cascio, Luke Rooney; James Nortey.
Second Half: Jordan Stagmiller; Damian Rosales, Peter Kelly, Brock Granger, Nicholas Costa; Spencer Johnson, Jose Cuevas, Gibson Bardsley; Amare Thomas, Fred Alberto Garcia, Jamael Cox.
Referee: Robi Hullner
Assistant Referees: Brandon Marshall and Anthony Bersano
Fourth Official: Daniel Malm
Weather: Clear and 83 degrees