Arizona United kick off their season against the Orange County Blues FC this week in Santa Ana, California. Both teams failed to make the playoffs as Arizona finished in ninth place with 33 points while Orange County finished next to last with twenty-eight points. This is the first normal season for the Arizona United after playing a short schedule last year due to them starting two weeks later than everybody else because of when the team was formed.
Both teams struggled last year on defense as Arizona United gave up a total of 47 goals last season which was fourth worst in the league, however Orange County gave up a total of 54 goals which was next to last in the league last season.
Going into the game the storylines from an FC Dallas fan’s standpoint will be if the Arizona defense has improved any from last year. If not, this could be a great opportunity for a player like Otis Earle or Stephen Keel to go down and get minutes while improving the defense. Also Arizona struggled finding a solid midfielder to step up and be a big threat for them. This could be a role for Danny Garcia who FC Dallas front office is really high on to get some minutes or for Alejandro Zendejas who helped the USA qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup to come in and get solid play time.
While this game does not have any FC Dallas players in it, this will be a game the FC Dallas front office keep an eye on as they figure which players will be sent to Arizona in hopes of getting competitive game minutes.
This is the last report in our series this week on FC Dallas’ new affiliate in the USL, Arizona United. For more, see our Overview HERE, a breakdown of potential FC Dallas players who could be loaned out HERE, and Oscar Pareja’s general thoughts on youth development and how the team will work with Arizona United HERE. Previously, FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo spoke with Fletcher Whiteley about the relationship with Arizona United HERE.