PHOENIX RISING FC

Luis Seijas’ worldie lifts Phoenix Rising FC over Miami for 6th straight win

Apr 23, 2022, 11:27 PM
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Luis Seijas celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 88th...
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Luis Seijas celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 88th minute of a 2-1 win over Miami FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chander, Ariz., on April 23, 2022. (Phoenix Rising FC Photo)
(Phoenix Rising FC Photo)

Death. Taxes. Luis Seijas left-footed worldies.

Phoenix Rising FC won its sixth consecutive match in all competitions following a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Miami FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on Saturday night.

PRFC was able to steal all three points in the 88th minute following another strike off the left foot of Seijas, who now has four goals on the 2022 USL Championship campaign.

“I had an awful game,” Seijas told reporters postgame. “We didn’t play the way we had the past few games. We struggled a bit. We were not synchronized in the first half. We suffered a bit but sometimes you need to have something different to overcome adversity — this team has it. I told (manager Rick Schantz) it was all him because he kept me on the field.”

Phoenix closed out the month of April with a perfect 6-0-0 record in all comps, which includes a 4-0-0 record in league play to go along with a couple of U.S. Open Cup victories in the second and third rounds. However, it must be stated that Rising has played all of its last five games at home.

PRFC outscored its opponents 11-3 in those six matches while keeping three clean sheets, all of which belong to goalkeeper Ben Lundt. And in the four USLC matches, Phoenix outscored its opponents 8-2 and kept two shutouts.

Schantz will no doubt be a candidate, if not, the frontrunner for USL Championship’s April Coach of the Month.

“Miami is a very good team. They’re good in possession. They’re difficult to press,” Schantz told reporters postgame. “We didn’t really commit to the game plan in the first half. Once they started knocking it around on us, we were forced to drop off quite a bit. We struggled in transition again in the first half. The second half — you saw a real commitment to who we are.”

After multiple highlight-reel saves from Lundt, Miami broke the deadlock in the 28th minute via former Rising loanee Josh Perez, who played in Phoenix in 2018-19. There appeared to be a miscommunication between PRFC center back Kevon Lambert and left back Ryan Flood, as the two 6-foot-plus defenders weren’t able to prevent the 5-foot-5 attacker from heading the ball into the back of the net.

But Lambert more than made up for it with a true box-to-box run that began with winning the ball back for Phoenix en route to the equalizer just before the halftime whistle.

“That goal from Lambert right before the half. It turned the game for us. It gave us belief at halftime,” Schantz said.

If you needed any reminder of his ability and versatility, Lambert has the skill to make that defensive play and finish the run because of his experience as a No. 6 and even sometimes as a No. 8 in Schantz’s system over the last four seasons.

“It’s unbelievable what he is doing,” Schantz added. “He’s dominant in the air. He’s good in one-on-ones. He’s great on the ball. He’s calm and composed. He played as a six his whole career. I know he has played as a center back for the Jamaican National Team. Hopefully he gets another opportunity.”

“We’ve all been waiting for it. I have been waiting for it. You guys have been waiting for it. The fans have been waiting for it. I feel like it was the right time for it to be honest,” Lambert told reporters postgame of his trademark flip celebration.

“We had a breakdown in the back and we needed an extra push two minutes before halftime. Something in my head told me to keep going when we won the ball back. I made that one run and the ball came right back to me in front of goal. It was a simple tap-in goal from there. It’s great to get my first goal and first flip of the season.”

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Phoenix Rising travels away to LA Galaxy II on May 1 for a 5 p.m. kickoff.

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