Game No. 11 Preview: Phoenix Rising FC at Swope Park Rangers

Luke Rooney scores in his second straight game on a penalty kick against Swope Park Rangers on April 23, 2017
Luke Rooney scores in his second straight game on a penalty kick against Swope Park Rangers on April 23, 2017 (Aaron Blau)

GAME DETAILS:

Phoenix Rising FC (5-5-0, 15 pts., 9th in West) at Swope Park Rangers (5-4-1, 16 pts., 8th in West)

2 p.m. Sunday, Childrens Mercy Victory Field, Kansas City, Mo.

TV: YouTube, YurView Arizona (Cox 7, 1007 HD)

USL Match Center

 For the second time this season, Phoenix Rising FC and Swope Park Rangers meet as the teams are fighting for a spot to be in playoff contention in the Western Conference.

The two teams met on Apr. 23 at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, and Phoenix Rising came out on top with a 4-3 victory over a Swope Park Rangers team that came into that match with an unbeaten record.

Phoenix Rising jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 48 minutes with goals coming from Alessandro Riggi, Luke Rooney, Chris Cortez and Peter Ramage. But a red card in the 78th minute from defender Kody Wakasa put Phoenix Rising a man down, and Swope Park took advantage. Kevin Olivera scored a pair of goals, and Christian Duke added a third late in stoppage time putting the Phoenix Rising fans on the edge of their seats, but the team hung on for an important three points and knocking Swope Park from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Phoenix Rising is coming off a 2-1 win over Whitecaps FC 2 on June 10 in the debut of co-owner Didier Drogba. Drogba scored in the first half on a cross from new signee Amadou Dia, and a second-half winner from midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips gave Phoenix Rising three important points in the standings.

Wright-Phillips and Jason Johnson lead active players in scoring with two goals each, and Wakasa leads the team with three assists on the season.

Swope Park is coming in to the game off a 3-1 victory over the Tulsa Roughnecks last week. Second half goals from Cameron Iwasa and a pair of stoppage time goals from Mark Gonzalez secured the points for Swope Park.

Kharlton Belmar leads the team in scoring with four goals on the season, and Gonzalez has three. Lebo Moleto, Parker Maher and Colton Storm lead in assists with two each.

POSSIBLE STARTING XI (4-2-3-1)

 Lineup Whitecaps

GK- Cohen

D- Dia, Ramage, Stewart, Wakasa

DM- Watson, Timm

MF- Bravo, Avila, Wright-Phillips

F- Drogba

POSSIBLE SUBS: GK- Woszczynski; D- Granger, Uzo, Greer; MF- Gavin, Johnson; F- Seth