PHOENIX RISING FC

First time for everything: Phoenix Rising FC picks up 1st win in San Antonio

Apr 2, 2022, 9:58 PM | Updated: 10:02 pm
Phoenix Rising FC captain Darnell Kings (left) and SAFC midfielder David Loera (right) play in a 2-...
Phoenix Rising FC captain Darnell Kings (left) and SAFC midfielder David Loera (right) play in a 2-0 PRFC win in San Antonio, Texas, on April 2, 2022. (San Antonio FC Photo)
(San Antonio FC Photo)

There’s a first time for everything, especially when it comes to Phoenix Rising FC this season.

PRFC came into Saturday night’s match away to San Antonio FC on the heels of back-to-back defeats, a first for Phoenix and manager Rick Schantz since October 2018.

And with a dominating 2-0 win over SAFC on the night, Rising not only won its first away game on the campaign, but Phoenix also won its first match in San Antonio in club history. The clean sheet also marks the first of the year for both PRFC and goalkeeper Ben Lundt.

The final “first” of the match came off the foot of forward Marcus Epps, who came off the bench to score his first goal in a Rising kit on his first shot of the season against his former team.

As he promised earlier in the week, Schantz made a multitude of changes to his starting XI, but not necessarily to his system.

Rising went out in its usual 4-3-3, with Greg Hurst playing as the left winger while Joey Calistri served on the opposite attacking flank in place of Santi Moar and Epps, respectively.

Phoenix’s trademark high-pressure tactic was back to its usual standards, as San Antonio struggled to create any real threatening chances despite having 45.9% possession. PRFC’s seven clearances, 11 interceptions, 69.2% tackle success rate and 66.7% aerial duels won played a large part in the team’s impressive defensive effort.

Rising also saw a noticeable increase in service and crosses into the box, a large majority of which came from the left side with left back and Valley native Ryan Flood starting at left back. Starting LB Babou Njie was out due to a lower-body injury.

Phoenix out-crossed San Antonio 23-10 and forced SAFC to clear the ball 31 times. PRFC also commanded the shots battle 21-5 (9-2 on target) while amassing six corners compared to only allowing one.

And despite San Antonio’s starting goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla retiring earlier in the week due to personal reasons, SAFC backup GK Jordan Farr was more than ready to take over in net.

Farr put in a Man of the Match-worthy performance with multiple quick-reaction saves, two of which denied Rising center back Joe Farrell from scoring via header.

STOPPAGE TIME

– Center Back James Musa was out with a lower-body injury. The Kiwi missed the first two games of the season due to a hamstring issue.

– Midfielder Carlos Anguiano and Richmond Antwi made their PRFC debuts as substitutes in the second half.

UP NEXT

Phoenix Rising hosts NISA newcomer and Mesa-based Valley United SC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler at 7:30 p.m.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Rising FC

Phoenix Rising FC coach Juan Guerra. (Ashley Orellana Photo)...
Austin Scott

Phoenix Rising FC signs broadcasting deal with Arizona’s Family

The network will include 28 Phoenix Rising FC matches for its 2023 season on channel 44 over the air and channel 116 on Cox Cable.
1 day ago
Phoenix Rising FC. (Ashley Orellana Photo)...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC general manager Bobby Dulle promoted to club president

Phoenix Rising FC on Friday announced that it promoted general manager Bobby Dulle to club president, effective immediately.
6 days ago
France's Theo Hernandez, on his knees, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World C...
Associated Press

France beats Morocco, sets up date with Messi, Argentina in World Cup final

Soccer's latest superstar against perhaps the sport's greatest player in the World Cup final just about everyone was hoping for.
1 month ago
Daley Blind of the Netherlands, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cu...
Wills Rice

USA bows out in World Cup round of 16 with loss to Netherlands

The USA men’s soccer team is heading home from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands in the round of 16.
2 months ago
Weston McKennie of United States looks on with teammates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group...
Associated Press

United States faces Netherlands to kick off World Cup knockout stage

The United States is winless in its last 11 World Cup games against European teams, a streak that includes five losses and six draws.
2 months ago
Christian Pulisic of the United States, 2nd right, shoots to score his sides first goal past Iran's...
Jake Anderson

United States advances to World Cup round of 16 after beating Iran

The United States men's national soccer team is heading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup round of 16 after defeating Iran 1-0 on Tuesday in Qatar.
2 months ago
First time for everything: Phoenix Rising FC picks up 1st win in San Antonio