PHOENIX RISING FC

Phoenix Rising welcomes Monterey Bay to USL with 1st half thrashing

Mar 12, 2022, 11:20 PM | Updated: 11:40 pm
Phoenix Rising FC celebrates a goal in a 4-2 win over Monterey Bay FC in a USL Championship match a...
Phoenix Rising FC celebrates a goal in a 4-2 win over Monterey Bay FC in a USL Championship match at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., on March 12, 2022. (Ashley Orellana Photo)
(Ashley Orellana Photo)

Phoenix Rising FC won its opening match of the 2022 USL Championship season on Saturday night.

And it only took one half.

PRFC welcomed newcomer Monterey Bay FC to the league at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler to the tune of a 4-2 victory for Rick Schantz and Co.

Rising led 4-0 at halftime thanks to four different goalscorers.

“We were outstanding for about 55-60 minutes,” Phoenix Rising manager Rick Schantz told reporters postgame. “We still have some things to work on but we were pretty sharp.

“We made a few changes and then we got lackadaisical. Monterey Bay was really aggressive trying to get back into the game in the second half.”

Phoenix center back Manuel Madrid wasted no time getting on the scoresheet less than two minutes into the match.

Rising debutant Greg Hurst doubled PRFC’s advantage 15 minutes later and midfielder Arturo Rodriguez cemented Phoenix’s authority with a third goal inside the opening 34 minutes.

“Collectively it was a good team performance,” Hurst told reporters postgame. “We scored four goals. We created a lot of chances.

“The crowd was unbelievable. The fans were beyond my expectation.”

PRFC midfielder Aodhan Quinn got in on the goal festivities with a cheeky chip over Monterey Bay goalkeeper Rafael Díaz.

Monterey Bay got two goals back in the final quarter of an hour, but they were merely a consolation as Phoenix Rising took all three points.

“Good win, three points at home, a good start to the year,” Quinn told reporters postgame. “We had a great first half, 4-0, in the first half.

“In the second, we gave away a few goals. We need to work on that but good win, good performance.”

Despite the scoreline, Monterey out-possessed Phoenix 52.4-47.6% and outshot Rising 15-13. However, PRFC was the more clinical side with seven shots on target compared to MBFC’s five.

Monterey Bay also made a lot of mistakes in its own defensive third, which Phoenix easily capitalized on, as Schantz’s pressing system is designed to convert on turnovers — especially when they’re handfed to Rising like this one:

“I saw some good performances and some guys that didn’t have their best game,” Schantz said. “Once we really get cooking it will be pretty special.

“On the left-hand side, we got stretched defensively. Santi (Moar) and Baboucarr (Njie) were a little too far apart.”

STOPPAGE TIME

– Valley native and Chandler Hamilton High School alumnus Channing Chasten made his PRFC debut.

– Former Rising manager Frank Yallop started Valley youth product Sam Gleadle and former PRFC forward Chris Cortez for Monterey Bay while also bringing on Chandler Hamilton High School alumnus Jesse Maldonado as a substitute in MBFC’s inaugural match.

UP NEXT

Phoenix Rising travels up to Las Vegas to take on Lights FC at 7 p.m. on Matchday 2 next Saturday.

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Phoenix Rising welcomes Monterey Bay to USL with 1st half thrashing