DL Match Preview 8-10
north Texas SC/Jack Wallace

North Texas SC vs FC Tucson Match Preview | 8.10.19

FRISCO — USL League One leaders North Texas SC (10-4-4, 34 points) will host seventh place FC Tucson (6-5-7, 25 points) at Toyota Stadium on Saturday August 10that 9:20 PM CT. The previous meeting between the two teams ended in a 1-0 victory for NTSC, also occurring at Toyota Stadium.

Current Form
North Texas SC enters this matchup in difficult form. NTSC has now lost two in a row for the first time this season. The last match was a 1-0 loss on the road to Chattanooga Red Wolves, and that was preceded by a 4-0 loss to Greenville Triumph SC, the first loss for NTSC in Toyota stadium. The loss to Greenville was the largest margin of defeat for North Texas this year. The team has struggled for goals, unable to find the net in three straight matches, and has also struggled with discipline with back-to-back red cards. There is cause for hope, however, as the team has still posted excellent possession numbers in the last few games, including 53% possession against Greenville despite being down a man for 70+ minutes.

The Opponent
FC Tucson will arrive at Toyota Stadium for its fifth straight away game after visiting Greenville, Lansing, Chattanooga, and Forward Madison over the last few weeks. The team earned a draw against Lansing and Chattanooga and a victory against Greenville. Its last match was a 1-0 loss to Forward Madison. The defeat to Madison and the draw against Chattanooga could be seen as a regression to the mean, and in both games, FC Tucson faced at least three more shots than it took.

Players to Watch
There has been a fair amount of turnover in the NTSC roster this year, but one constant has been midfielder Arturo Rodriguez. He leads the team in minutes played, and the next closest outfield player is more than 180 minutes behind him. Rodriguez has done more than fill a spot. He has a league-leading six assists with 35 chances created—second most in League One. Despite the recent results, Rodriguez remains an excellent passer, and in two of his last three games he has posted a passing accuracy of above 90%. 

Midfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu will be central to making sure FC Tucson keeps a clean sheet. Despite playing in the midfield, Omiunu has posted impressive defensive stats, leading the team in interceptions and duels won. He is also third in aerial duels and successful tackles. After winning the ball, Omiunu is adept at starting counter attacks and is second on the team in attempted passes.