Game No. 1 Preview: Phoenix Rising vs. Toronto FC II



Phoenix Rising FC vs. Toronto FC II

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex

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USL Match Center:

The 2017 USL season is finally here.

As is the opening of Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in South Scottsdale.

Both will meet together as Phoenix Rising FC hosts Toronto FC II on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. to kickoff the season.

A lot of questions will be answered as the season begins. Can Phoenix Rising get past the results of the preseason, garnering just two draws in their five matches played? How will the additions of Omar Bravo, Allesandro Riggi and Shaun Wright-Phillips play into the team’s standing? Will the new facility yield the results the club has been looking for?

The obvious eyes of Phoenix Rising fans will fall on the new “stars” that have joined the club.

The eyes of everyone will first fall to Bravo. Fans lined Sky Harbor Airport just to catch a glimpse of this Liga MX star and Mexican legend as he first stepped foot on to Arizona soil. Now he has to back up that legend, which includes 132 goals with Chivas and 15 goals for the Mexican National Squad.

The eyes will also fall on former Manchester City, New York Red Bulls and England international star Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips scored 59 goals in English Premier League play, and one goal with the Red Bulls as well as six goals for the English National Team.

And the eyes will fall on former MLS players Riggi (FC Montreal), Jordan Stewart (San Jose Earthquakes) and Jason Johnson (Chicago Fire).

But the eyes will also look to returning stars, such as goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski, defenders Peter Ramage and Uchenna Uzo, midfielder Luke Rooney and forward Chris Cortez.

For Toronto FC II, it is coming off a disappointing 7-18-5 campaign last season under coach Jason Bent. Forward Shaan Hundal returns. Hundal was tied for the team lead with six goals last season, and could be joined up top by the likes of Ricardo John and Mo Babouli. Toronto was the worst team defensively in the Eastern Conference, as they gave up 58 goals last season.

POSSIBLE STARTING XI (4-4-2): GK-Carl Woszczynski; D- Victor Vasquez, Uchenna Uzo, Peter Ramage, Jordan Stewart; MF- Shaun Wright-Phillips, Allesandro Riggi, Luke Rooney, Matt Watson; F- Omar Bravo, Mike Seth

POSSIBLE OFF THE BENCH: GK-Josh Cohen; D- Brock Granger, J.J. Greer; MF-Blair Gavin, A.J. Gray; F-Chris Cortez, Jason Johnson.