Phoenix Rising FC (6-6-4, 22 pts, 11th in West) vs. San Antonio FC (10-1-7, 37 points, 3rd in West)
8 p.m., Saturday, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, Scottsdale
TV: YouTube, YurView Arizona (Cox 4, 1004 HD in Phoenix, Cox 7, 1007 HD in Tucson)
One of the hottest teams in all of the United Soccer League makes its only appearance in Scottsdale Saturday night, and Phoenix Rising FC is hoping to avenge one of its early season losses as the club takes on San Antonio FC in crucial Western Conference matchup.
The teams met back on May 20, with San Antonio coming out of that meeting with a 1-0 victory on a first-half goal from Akwafei Ajeakwa. Diego Restrepo registered a clean sheet in the match despite Phoenix Rising having the possession advantage.
Phoenix Rising is coming off their first loss in the Patrice Carteron era, a 3-0 gut punch from Tulsa Roughnecks FC last week. The team was outplayed for most of the match, creating only a few chances on net for the entire match. The team is 2-1-4 under Carteron’s direction.
Didier Drogba and Jason Johnson continue to lead the team in scoring with four goals apiece, and Kody Wakasa continues to lead the team with three assists. Josh Cohen remains the stalwart in the net, playing in 15 of the team’s 16 matches this season.
San Antonio is coming off a tough 2-2 draw last week with Western Conference leaders Real Monarchs SLC. Kris Tyrpak and Devin Vega scored for San Antonio, but a late goal from Max Lachowecki saved Real Monarchs from losing points.
San Antonio is led in scoring by Billy Forbes, who has seven goals on the season. He is closely followed by Cesar Elizando and Tyrpak with four each, and the same three players are at the top of the assists leaderboard as well. Restrepo leads the team with seven clean sheets in his 13 matches played, and is the team’s No. 1 goalkeeper.
San Antonio is an amazing 5-1-2 away from home this season, while Phoenix Rising is 5-2-1 at home, so something will have to give in this match.
A win by Phoenix Rising could propel them into the top 8 of the Western Conference for the first time this season.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI (4-4-2 Diamond)
D- Vasquez (L), Dia (C), Ramage (C), Wakasa (R)
MF- Watson (L), Wright-Phillips (R), Avila (CAM)
F- Drogba (L), Bravo (R)
POSSIBLE RESERVES: GK- Woszczynski; D- Greer, Gray; MF- Gavin, Arreola, Riggi; F- Seth