PHOENIX RISING FC

Phoenix Rising return home to face familiar foe Tacoma Defiance FC

Apr 20, 2019, 12:05 PM | Updated: May 4, 2019, 10:13 am
(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising)...
(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising)
(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising)

Phoenix Rising FC returns to the Valley to host Tacoma Defiance FC (formerly known as Seattle Sounders 2) on Saturday night.

PRFC is coming back from a two-game Texas road trip that saw the club split three of six points, most recently a 1-0 loss to Austin Bold FC on Wednesday.

A return home against Tacoma may be just what the doctor ordered for Rising FC, as the club is 6-2-0 all-time in matches against the Sounders’ affiliate.

Dating back to last season, Phoenix is unbeaten in its last five matches at home (2-0-3) while the Defiance have yet to score on the road this year, losing 4-0, 4-0 and 5-0 at Tulsa Roughnecks FC, Orange County SC and Las Vegas Lights FC, respectively.

Tacoma’s only two wins of the year came in Week 1 over Rio Grande Valley FC and Week 5 over Sacramento Republic FC. However, in Week 5’s 2-1 win over Sacramento, ten of the team’s 11 starters were on loan from MLS affiliate Seattle Sounders, a starting XI that ruffled some feathers throughout the USL Championship.

One of those starters was a familiar face to Rising fans: Saad Abdul-Salaam, last year’s number one choice at right back for PRFC manager Rick Schantz. He had 13 caps (all starts) in a Rising kit last season that included one assist and a starting spot in the 2018 USL Cup Final. Abdul-Salaam has since made his way to the Seattle Sounders after spending last season here in the Valley while on loan from New York City FC.

Tacoma’s defense this year has been bad to put it kindly. The backline has allowed a USL Championship most 19 goals this season, giving the Defiance a share of the league’s worst goal differential (-15) and goals conceded per match (2.7). Constant on ball pressure has led to many of the goals Tacoma has conceded this season. Not only have outfield players made mistakes and left their keeper out to dry, but even the three different goalkeepers the Defiance has used this year have all had absolute howlers.

The Defiance have also had a poor attack, as the club has only been able to muster four goals in seven matches. Bold FC is the only Western Conference team to have scored less in 2019.

Schantz will be licking his chops as his side matchup perfectly against Tacoma. The PRFC manager’s high-pressure tactics should cause problems for the Defiance, a team that actually holds its own in possession, but can’t quite find that final ball – much like Austin. If Phoenix is able to dispossess Tacoma in the midfield, there will be a plethora of chances to break quickly on the counter as PRFC did against El Paso Locomotive FC:

And with the form Rising FC’s defense is in (one goal allowed in three matches) only another Player of the Week performance from an opposing goalkeeper will keep PRFC from capturing all three points. The trend of unbelievable goalkeeper play by opposing teams this year surely can’t continue like this, can it?

Phoenix Rising FC complete the short turnaround against Tacoma Defiance FC at Casino Arizona Field.

Kickoff time is set for 7:30 p.m., and the match can be audio streamed on ArizonaSports.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.
2 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.
21 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.
28 days 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.
1 month 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.
2 months ago
Phoenix Rising return home to face familiar foe Tacoma Defiance FC