Rory Agu and the Tide have been great at home, but have never won a match in the state of Utah.Tacoma Tide FC face a huge challenge this weekend as they travel to Utah to take on both Ogden and BYU.
The Tide have never won a match in the state of Utah, going 0-4 in the last two years combined. To make the task seem even more difficult, the matches away in Utah have not been close, save one. In 2006 the Tide lost 3-0 at both clubs. Last year the Tide came close in Ogden, falling 3-2, but were embarrassed 6-0 at BYU. Combined that is a 15-2 goal deficit over two seasons.
While Yellow are red hot at home they have yet to show that they are a true PDL playoff contender by winning on the road this year. The Tide have had only two road tests so far in 2008, but they have failed them both, losing 5-2 in Spokane and 3-1 in Yakima.
If ever there was a year where you'd think Tacoma might break through in Utah, it's this one. TFC are getting on the plane south with plenty of momentum, and both Utah clubs are not off to very strong starts.
The Ogden Outlaws and Tide will tangle Friday night. The Outlaws are 2-2-2 with 8 points after six matches played. One of those losses was a 5-0 thumping in Tacoma on May 23rd. The Outlaw Nation blog will likely have more in the next day or so on the Tacoma visit.
A PDL club with a distinct advantage are the BYU Cougars. They had played many matches before other Northwest Division clubs even began practicing this spring. Usually that means BYU race off and win the division. In 2008 that hasn't happened yet. The Cougars can point to their 1-1 draw at Tacoma May 24th as one of their better results of the season. BYU is 2-3-1 on the year with only 7 standings points. The Tide and Cougars battle Saturday night in Provo.
Just like we learned a lot about the Tide last week in the big wins over Abottsford and Vancouver, we'll know more about whether these men are serious contenders after the weekend in Utah is done.
Will the Tide finally win a match in the Beehive State, or come home with more stings?