Phoenix Rising FC (14-8-7, 49 pts., 5th in West) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC (13-12-4, 43 pts., 7th in West)
7 p.m. Wednesday, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, Scottsdale
TV: ESPN 3 (Must have authentication)
Despite having its 11-match unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday, Phoenix Rising FC still has a lot to play for as it begins its final three-match homestand Wednesday night against Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
While a chance at a top-four finish and a home playoff match is still mathematically possible, Phoenix Rising would need a lot of help to get there, so the club is playing to stay in the fifth spot and trying to set up its roster for the upcoming playoffs.
Phoenix Rising saw its unbeaten streak come to an end on Saturday at Sacramento Republic FC. Emrah Klimenta and Agustin Cazarez scored goals five minutes apart to snap the Firebirds’ shutout streak at 416 minutes. Despite the loss, midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips, who scored the goal in Portland to qualify the club for the USL playoffs, was named to the USL Team of the Week this week. Wright-Phillips’ third goal of the season was the game-winner in Portland in a 2-0 win Wednesday. SWP also added an assist in the match on Jason Johnson’s 10th goal of the season.
Phoenix Rising earned nine of a possible 12 points on the road trip, which helped keep them solidly in fifth place coming into the match. They come home to the familiar confines of the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, where they are 8-3-2 on the season and are looking for revenge.
Phoenix lost to Tulsa 3-0 on July 22, Rising’s first loss under Patrice Carteron. Ian Svantesson, Jacori Hayes and Christian Thierjung scored goals to give Tulsa the victory in that match.
Svantesson leads the team in scoring with 11 goals on the season. Joey Calistri has nine goals and Juan Pablo Caffa has eight goals and six assists on the season. Fabian Cerda is the team’s main goalkeeper, allowing 25 goals in 21 appearances this season.
Phoenix Rising and Tulsa have both scored 40 goals on the season. Phoenix, with its recent good form on defense, is tied for eighth best in the league in goals allowed with just 33 on the season, while Tulsa is ranked 13th with 38 goals allowed.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI (4-2-3-1)
D- Vasquez (L), Stewart (C), Mala (C), Wakasa (R)
DM- Watson (L), Hamilton (R)
MF- Riggi (L), Wright-Phillips (C), Cortez (R)
POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTES: GK- Berner; D- Dia, Ramage; MF- Gavin, Awako, Avila; F- Johnson