Rising FC wins goal-fest in Vegas, keeps pressure on Tampa for No. 1 spot

Oct 16, 2021, 6:17 PM
Phoenix Rising center backs Niall Dunn (left) and Joe Farrell (middle) defend against Las Vegas Lig...
Phoenix Rising center backs Niall Dunn (left) and Joe Farrell (middle) defend against Las Vegas Lights FC forward Cal Jennings (right) in a 6-3 PRFC win at Cashman Field on Oct. 16, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)
(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)

LAS VEGAS — Phoenix Rising FC (20-5-5) earned three points in a 6-3 win over Las Vegas Lights FC at Cashman Field on Saturday afternoon.

For now, PRFC reclaims the No. 1 spot in all of USL Championship on 65 points with two matches remaining — meaning a max of 71 points possible.

However, Tampa Bay remains in control of its own destiny as the Rowdies are on 62 points with three games remaining (71 points possible) and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Phoenix.

David Egbo, Joey Calistri, Santi Moar, Darnell King and Luis Seijas all scored for PRFC, while Aodhan Quinn picked up three assists.

Rising’s youngest player — Niall Dunn — made his professional debut at age 16, playing the full 90 minutes at center back.

Egbo scored first for Phoenix in just the fourth minute of the match in his first start since Aug. 28.

The forward made a back-post run when David Loera switched the point of attack from Rising’s right side to the left. Quinn picked up his head and found Egbo with a low pass into the area and he finished by smacking a shot off a defender that trickled into the back of the net.

Calistri made it 2-0 in the 16th minute when Quinn played a ball in behind Las Vegas’ backline.

Playing as a right winger on the day, Calistri outran his marker and slipped a low shot past Lights goalkeeper Alex Rando.

Moar scored his first less than a minute later, beating two players on the dribble on the left flank before cutting in and finishing off the goal with another shot to Rando’s left side to make it 3-0.

Las Vegas took a goal back in the 18th minute when Cal Jennings got on the end of a pass from Daniel Trejo inside the six-yard box.

Jennings finished the chance from very close range with his first touch to make it 3-1.

Lights made it 3-2 in the 41st minute when Bruce El Mesmari came free on Vegas’ right side.

The forward cut into the center, avoided a pair of slide tackles by Rising defenders and slipped a pass over to Jennings on the back post, who once again finished easily with his first touch to make it a one-goal game.

Despite a couple of halftime changes from manager Rick Schantz, it was still Quinn delivering the mail.

He came open on the left flank and sent a cross into the area that was redirected into the back of the net with a header by Darnell King to make it 4-2 in the 52nd minute.

It marks Quinn’s third assist of the match and his 11th of the year to put him atop the league’s leaderboard.

Moar scored his second of the match in the 69th minute after Luis Seijas started a quick counterattack with a pass down the left side.

The Spaniard cut inside near the top of the box and fired a shot high towards Rando, but the goalkeeper bobbled the ball backwards into his own net to make it 5-2.

Jennings completed his hat trick to make it 5-3 with seven minutes remaining, but Arturo Rodriguez found Luiz Seijas in the 85th minute to make it a 6-3 final.

Seijas’ goal was his first in a PRFC kit and extends Phoenix’s league-leading scoring tally to 66 on the 2021 campaign.


Rising captain Solomon Asante and forward Darren Mattocks were both held out for the second consecutive match due to lower-body injuries.


Phoenix Rising returns home to Wild Horse Pass to host Sacramento Republic FC in the first of the final two home matches of the regular season.

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

Phoenix Rising FC contributed to this story.


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