North Texas Snatches a Draw in Kansas City
On the road, North Texas SC dominated the first half, getting a goal from Alejandro Urzua, before giving up an equalizer and losing the penalty shootout.
North Texas SC experienced the Kansas City heat on Sunday afternoon as they faced Sporting Kansas City II in an exciting match that left the team hungry for more.
North Texas generated plenty of opportunities in the first half, unlucky not to go ahead by multiple scores. A turnover led to an opportunity for academy signing Alejandro Urzua, who zipped in a shot that beat SKC 2’s keeper. It was a moment of relief and celebration for the team, especially for Urzua, who counts that tally as his first professional goal.
In the second half, Kansas City returned to the pitch with fresh energy and looked to their leading scorer, Pau Vidal, to grab an equalizer. It was disappointing for North Texas, but the team managed to generate more opportunities and preserve the point on the road.
Unfortunately, the penalty shootout still eluded the team, losing yet another one.
North Texas’ away draw puts them at 20 points on the season, not exactly the place they would like to be, but they are still in a position to grab wins and surge up the standings in the Western Conference.
“This group is growing. The first half is the best first half we have had in a long time. We started a little slow. They had a couple of chances. When we started to break lines, Kansas City saw this team playing good. If Mulato, Manuel had scored… I don’t know. We had clear chances,” Cano said after the game.
I asked the head coach what pressure they are putting on the team to get themselves in position for a postseason run.
“I don’t feel any pressure. Owners know what we are doing. GM knows what we are doing. They know what this process is. They know we are working hard. The only pressure is when reporters ask,” Cano said, acknowledging that North Texas is a project about developing these young guys. “Til the mathematics say we are not in the playoffs, we will fight.”
Urzua agreed about the positives from this match and that the team needs to trust the process.
“Overall, our game has improved from the beginning of the season. We still need to improve on late game scenarios,” Alejandro said. “We need relief moments. The goal I scored was a relief moment. It shifted the momentum. We need a calmness in front of goal.”
Getting his first professional goal felt great for the youngster, and no doubt, he will be looking to improve and contribute more as the team pushes into the second half of the season.
Cano mentioned that the next four games are crucial for this team. They are all winnable. Getting even two wins could be enough to place the team into playoff positioning again.
North Texas SC will play Los Angeles FC 2 at home on July 2.
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