PREVIEW: LA BLUES VS. PHOENIX FC
The Los Angeles Blues kick off their 2013 USL PRO campaign against newcomers Phoenix FC on March 23 at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The Blues missed the playoffs last season, finishing eighth in the standings.
The Blues have gone through a transformation this preseason—adding Warren Barton to the front office, as the team’s general manager. And Barton’s first order of business was to name Jesus Rico-Sanz as head coach.
The Blues have had a busy preseason which saw a lose to Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA, but wins against Cal State Fullerton and the San Diego Flash. Forward George Davis IV is back with the Blues after his loan to Orlando City last season, while midfielder Allan Russell and defenders Cory Miller and Matt Hall will provide stability and leadership to the young team. Two Blues players to look out for this game will be former MLS players, forward Chris Cortez and midfielder Rodrigo Lopez to that roster.
The USL PRO newcomers have been busy putting together a team full of talented local players, as well as a trio of Brazilians. The Wolves feature former MLS goalkeeper Andrew Weber. The Blues defensive will have its hands full with Phoenix’s Darren Mackie. Mackie, who had played nearly 200 games in the Scottish Premier League, had 58 goals in all competitions during his tenure at Aberdeen.
This is the first of two meetings between the teams. The next meeting will be in Tempe, Ariz., on April 14.