Phoenix Rising reclaims No. 1 spot in USLC with thrashing of Las Vegas

Sep 15, 2021, 10:13 PM | Updated: 10:21 pm
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Aodhan Quinn (#14) celebrates scoring a goal in PRFC's 4-1 win over La...
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Aodhan Quinn (#14) celebrates scoring a goal in PRFC's 4-1 win over Las Vegas Lights FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., on Sept. 15, 2021. (Ashley Orellana Photo)
(Ashley Orellana Photo)

Phoenix Rising FC is the first team to reach 50 points on the 2021 USL Championship campaign.

PRFC did so after its fourth consecutive victory with a 4-1 thrashing of Las Vegas Lights FC at Wild Horse Pass on Wednesday.

The win extends Phoenix’s unbeaten streak at WHP to 9W-3D-0L and moves Rising into the No. 1 spot in all of the USL Championship standings after El Paso Locomotive FC dropped points on the night.

Other than one hiccup — a lack of concentration on Las Vegas’ set-piece goal — Rising dominated most of the match, including taking a 3-1 lead into the locker room at the halftime whistle.

Phoenix had 55% possession, four corners and 14 shots (nine on target) in the opening 45 minutes compared to Las Vegas’ 45%, one corner and four shots (three on target).

And despite finishing the game with only 46% of the ball — mostly due to having a two-plus goal lead all of the second half — Rising totaled an astounding 35 shots (14 on target) and nine corners to Lights’ 54% possession, one corner and 10 shots (three on target).

PRFC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes of the contest thanks to goals from midfielder Aodhan Quinn and winger Santi Moar.

Moar’s 12th goal on the season keeps him as PRFC’s leading goalscorer and moves the Spaniard into a tie for third for the league’s Golden Boot.

Phoenix Rising manager Rick Schantz made a few changes to his Matchday 18, one of which was forced due to center back Joe Farrell’s red card suspension.

Captain Solomon Asante returned from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the last four matches, starting on the bench alongside 16-year-old Valley native and PRFC youth product Niall Dunn.

The back-to-back MVP did come on as a sub in the 68th minute, while the teenager still awaits to make his professional debut.

With no true No. 9 striker in the starting XI, midfielder Jon Bakero played a false-9 role while Arturo Rodriguez stayed among the midfield trio.

That decision proved to be golden from Schantz, as Rodriguez found the back of the net on a rifle of a shot from inside the penalty area to make it 3-1 PRFC within the first half hour of the match.

And after hitting the woodwork twice on headers, Bakero bagged his second goal of the season in the 82nd minute on a cutback pass from Prince Saydee to bring the game to its final scoreline of 4-1.


Las Vegas was without Cal Jennings, as the forward has spent nearly the last month with MLS parent club LAFC.


Phoenix Rising hosts Pacific Division rival Orange County SC at Wild Horse Pass in Chander on Saturday night.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Catch all the action on and the Arizona Sports app.

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