Phoenix FC returns home after grueling four-game road trip

Jun 14, 2013, 9:57 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2013, 5:20 pm

Phoenix, Ariz. – The Phoenix FC Wolves return to Tempe this Saturday night after two weeks and four matches on the road to host the Real Salt Lake reserves team of Major League Soccer (MLS). This is a match that counts in the USL PRO League standings for the Wolves as well as the MLS Reserve League standings for Real Salt Lake, as determined in an agreement the two leagues reached earlier this year.

This will be the second meeting of the teams this season, as Phoenix FC played Real Salt Lake to a draw in Sandy, Utah on April 22. Despite being issued first half red cards and playing with only 9 players for much of that match, Phoenix FC played its best defensive half of the year in holding off a fierce Real Salt Lake attack to hold them scoreless and earn a point with the draw.

Phoenix FC is coming off of a winless road trip on the East Coast in which the Wolves played four matches in two weeks. It was a frustrating road trip that was highlighted by close games and missed opportunities, and the Wolves are hungry to get back home for a chance to earn some regular season points with a healthy roster and no major injuries.

The first meeting of these two teams was highlighted by a first half brawl that earned three red cards: goalkeeper Andrew Weber and defender Renan Felipe Boufleur were ejected for Phoenix FC; and defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe for Real Salt Lake. Following a missed Real Salt Lake free kick attempt, a scuffle at the edge of Phoenix FC’s box quickly turned into both teams fighting.

Phoenix FC was outmanned 10 – 9 for the remainder of the game. Real Salt Lake attacked furiously in the second half with the advantage, but Phoenix FC’s defense made key stops when needed. Goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson, who was in for Andrew Weber, survived numerous wide shots and made some spectacular saves to keep Real Salt Lake from reaching the back of the net.

With time running down, Real Salt Lake pushed its side for one last offensive effort but came up empty after 5 minutes of stoppage play. Despite registering 24 shots to Phoenix FC’s 4 shots, the match ended in a draw.

The series between these two clubs is part of the groundbreaking partnership announced by MLS and USL PRO earlier this year. As part of the partnership, each MLS side that isn’t directly affiliated with a USL PRO club will play a home-and-home Reserve League series against a team from USL PRO.

The Real Salt Lake reserves team features a number of players who start for and have significant playing time with the club’s MLS lineup, including defenders Abdoulie Mansally and Carlos Salcedo, midfielders John Stertzer and Sebastian Velasquez, and forwards Joao Plata and Robbie Findley.

Phoenix FC has started a number of different lineups in recent weeks, looking for the right on-field combination since the return of standout forward Darren Mackie to the lineup after an early season injury. Mackie has returned to playing form as of late and is beginning to gel with the team, and his presence and experience will be needed as the Wolves look to pick up some points against a solid Real Salt Lake squad.

This week’s matchup will be played at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, this Saturday, June 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm, and tickets can be purchased at www.phoenixfc.com.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Rising FC

Phoenix Rising FC. (Ashley Orellana Photo)...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC’s future at Wild Horse Pass remains an uncertainty

Phoenix Rising FC may have to find a new home following the conclusion of the 2022 USL Championship season.
7 days ago
U.S. forward Jesus Ferriera (9), center, celebrates his fourth goal against Grenada with Cristian R...
Associated Press

United States throttles Grenada in World Cup sendoff

Jesús Ferreira had a night to remember against an overwhelmed opponent in the United States' World Cup sendoff.
26 days ago
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Irakoze “Koze” Donasiyano on loan from MLS side Nashville SC. (Pho...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC signs Irakoze Donasiyano on loan from MLS side Nashville SC

Phoenix Rising FC announced on Friday the loan signing of midfielder Irakoze “Koze” Donasiyano from MLS side Nashville SC.
1 month ago
Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz walks out of the tunnel prior to a USL Championship match ag...
Jake Anderson

Rick Schantz eager to right Phoenix Rising’s ship: ‘It’s our Sparta moment’

Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz is eager to right the ship of his club, which has now lost three straight matches in all competitions.
1 month ago
Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Ben Lundt walks off the pitch after a 1-0, five-save clean sheet win o...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC’s match away to New Mexico United postponed

Phoenix Rising FC's match away to New Mexico United on Saturday has been postponed, USL Championship announced on Friday.
2 months ago
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Luis Seijas celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 88th...
Jake Anderson

Luis Seijas’ worldie lifts Phoenix Rising FC over Miami for 6th straight win

Phoenix Rising FC won its sixth straight match in all comps after a 2-1 win over Miami FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on Saturday night.
3 months ago
Phoenix FC returns home after grueling four-game road trip