If FC Tucson defender Tim Harbison were a character from “The Lego Movie,” he would be Emmet.
Take the figurine who becomes the hero of the blockbuster movie, lose the orange safety vest for a black soccer jersey, then make him a left back instead of a construction worker and — voilà — you have the 20-year-old from Auburn, Alabama.
Harbison has been as solid as a Lego brick in a defense that helped FC Tucson clinch a division title last week. He was named to the USL Premier Development League Team of the Week for his efforts in the club’s 1-0 win over Albuquerque Sol FC on July 4.
Heading into tonight’s final league regular-season match, Harbison has played in 32 matches over two seasons with the club. FC Tucson faces the Real Colorado Foxes at Kino Sports Complex North Stadium at 7:30.
“He’s a lunchbox kind of guy. You put him in there, he puts in his 90 minutes. You never see him sweat. You never see him get tired,” FC Tucson general manager Jon Pearlman said. “He’s really typical in terms of the hard-working, good passer of the ball.
“He’s quiet. He goes about his business. He is one of these guys who is in a good mood when he plays, and he’s in a good mood when he doesn’t play. He’s most concerned that he is doing a good job for his team and his coaches.”
Harbison, who plays his college ball at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, started the season at defensive center midfield before being shifted to left back when the club added Max Ornstil.
“I’ve moved around a lot positionally, and so I think that’s helped me get a better idea of the game,” said Harbison, who will be going into his junior season at Liberty this fall. “I grew up playing center mid, then I’ve played center back some in college and started playing left back out here. It’s given me a good, all-around knowledge of the game.”
It’s clear he’s also adept at retaining knowledge in areas other than soccer. The industrial engineering major was on the conference honor roll as a freshman. He has even taking a few classes this summer, including a math class “that’s been the whole summer.”
The inspiration for his major came from his father.
“My dad does business overseas, and I’ve always enjoyed that and helped with that,” said Harbison, whose father does event planning and has a restaurant and guest house in Thailand.
Harbison lived in Thailand from age 3 to the 10th grade before coming back to the United States.
“It was really different,” Harbison said of coming to the United States. “It was an adjustment for sure, but after a while it wasn’t that big of a deal, especially playing sports because it’s easy to make friends.”
Harbison’s demeanor no doubt helps with making friends and earning respect from his teammates.
“He is universally respected on the team,” Pearlman said. “We have so many different personalities on the team, and not one of them would come to me and say anything other than: ‘Love Tim Harbison. He’s a great guy and a great teammate.’
“He is one of the finest young men I’ve ever had a chance to spend time with or work with. He is the most humble, hard-working, unassuming, kind, generous, team-before-
- The club has one match remaining before heading to the playoffs. FC Tucson will host the Arizona Sahuaros in an exhibition Tuesday. First kick is set for 7:30 p.m.
- FC Tucson will face an old foe, L.A. Misioneros FC, in its first-round playoff match in Las Vegas on July 19. For its first two seasons in the USL PDL, FC Tucson played against the Misioneros in the same division.
- Before the FC Tucson match, Tucso
- n Soccer Academy FC will play its penultimate game of the season when it takes on L.A. Hotspur FC at 5:30 p.m. TSAFC, which wraps up the season at home Sunday, is
- 1-7-2 in the Women’s Pre
- mier Soccer League.