Phoenix Rising FC opens USL Championship playoffs at San Diego Loyal

Oct 22, 2023, 8:10 AM | Updated: 1:29 pm

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

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

(Ashley Orellana Photo)

Phoenix Rising begins the USL Championship playoffs on the road Sunday at 7 p.m. against San Diego Loyal SC at a sold-out Torero Stadium.

The Loyal are unbeaten in their last six matches (4-2-0), while Phoenix dropped its last two regular season contests.

The winner of the match will play second-seeded Orange County SC in the Conference Semifinals.

This will be Phoenix’s first playoff match since losing on penalties to Rio Grande Valley FC Toros after a 3-3 draw in the 2021 Conference Quarterfinals.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for San Diego, a franchise that will fold after the end of the season. In May, it was announced an MLS team is coming to San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium in 2025. San Diego Football Club revealed its name, crest and branding during an event on Friday.

Who qualifies for the playoffs?

The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs, which are single elimination in a fixed bracket format. Phoenix Rising FC finished sixth in the Western Conference out of 12 clubs. San Diego finished third in the table.

When do the playoffs start?

The playoffs began Oct. 21 and will conclude with the USL Championship Final on Nov. 12.

What happened when the two sides met earlier this season?

The Loyal handed Phoenix a 3-0 loss on March 19. The reverse fixture in Phoenix was a 2-2 draw on April 1. This is the first time the two sides have met in postseason play.

How did Phoenix Rising do last season?

Last season the team finished 10th in the Western Conference and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

How did San Diego do last season?

Last year the second-seeded Loyal were upset by Oakland in the Conference Quarterfinals.

How to watch the Phoenix Rising vs. San Diego Loyal match?

The match starts at 7 p.m. and all USL Championship playoff matches will be streamed live on ESPN+. Fans in Arizona will be able to watch the match on Arizona Family’s Sports and Entertainment Network (channel 44).

Phoenix Rising FC


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