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Arizona United Looks to Kickstart Offensive Attack against OC Blues FC

June 10, 2016 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Phoenix Rising FC News Release

Arizona United in Action
Arizona United in Action
(Phoenix Rising FC)

This Saturday, June 11, Arizona United Soccer Club heads into its match with OC Blues FC hungry for more goals. In the club's last three league matches, Arizona United has only scored three times.

In response, head coach Frank Yallop made a change in training this week. He upped the intensity and ran drills specifically designed for repetitive shots on net.

"We've done a lot of crossing and finishing and we've done a lot of shooting and a lot of stuff this week that will hopefully help us," Yallop said. "Obviously our defensive (performance) has not been great, but I think scoring first is important to most teams and that's what we're trying to do this game."

Forward Chris Cortez, who has been out with injury but should be available to play against his former team, said that, as a forward, he enjoyed training this week.

"It's been a lot of fun," Cortez said. "Finishing is the best part of the day. You get to score some goals (and) talk some crap on some keepers and have some fun with it."

He added that the repetition of the drills, where players attack the net in waves, taking shot after shot on the goalkeeper, really helps with putting the forwards in a mindset to score when the game comes around.

"It becomes second nature," Cortez said. "And so suddenly, when it comes to game time, you've hit the same shot a thousand times and it becomes a habit."

The drills have not only been for the benefit for Arizona United's attackers. The team's defense has also struggled recently, allowing eight goals in their last three matches. But, according to Yallop, the finishing drills have also been beneficial to the defenders as well.

"Obviously for us defenders, it's a lot of hard work," said Arizona United defender Julian Ringhof. "It's a good drill for us and the intensity has been pretty high, so that's good."

Scouting Report: OC Blues FC may have had trouble finding the back of the net for much of their season, but the team is coming off a five-goal explosion against Seattle Sounders FC 2. In that match, the Blues fell behind 2-0 in the 55th minute. Then, the five-goal barrage.

Even more impressive: the goals were scored by five different players.

Previous meeting: Arizona United left Southern California on May 14 with a point in hand following a 1-1 draw with Orange County. But it could've been much worse. The Blues hit the post five different times over the course of the game, even prompting Arizona United's owner Kyle Eng to joke that the goal frame was the man of the match.

United also had several scoring chances of their of their own in a match that could've been a lot more high scoring. Saturday night's battle could be very interesting.

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Arizona United in Action
Arizona United in Action


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