Sports stats

 Phoenix Rising FC

Match Preview: Phoenix Rising vs. New Mexico United, Saturday at 7:30 PM

March 28, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Phoenix Rising FC News Release

Phoenix Rising (1-2-0) hosts New Mexico United (1-1-1) this Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. The match will also be broadcast live on Arizona's Family Sports and streamed on ESPN+.

New Mexico enters the match having lost 4-0 in Charleston on March 23. Facing the defending Eastern and Western Conference Champions in consecutive weekends would be a daunting task for any club, but head coach Danny Stone believes United remains a difficult opponent.

"I've seen some good things from New Mexico this season," said Rising Head Coach Danny Stone. "They have a clear philosophy of how they want to play. We can look at the result last weekend and they'll be disappointed with the result but that doesn't mean they're not a good team. No one moment in a season discounts the fact they have quality players. We'll see a good team this weekend and we'll be preparing as such."

Rising enters the fray ahead of schedule defensively, having allowed just 0.66 goals per game this season. Despite winning it all in 2023, Phoenix began the year allowing two goals per game in its opening three matches and did not get a clean sheet until May 20. Rising picked up a shutout last time out, vs. Oakland on March 23. A big reason for that is the play of Senegalese defenders Mohamad Traore and Pape Mar Boye.

"We have quality players in every position," said Traore. "Even if someone else gets injured, we have a good player ready to step up. It showed last game, we had players out and we didn't allow a shot on goal. I'm really happy for [Boye]. It's an honor to play with him. We've known each other since we were young, playing back in Senegal. We already have a lot of chemistry. It's a pleasure."

Despite beating Rising at 38th/Washington in October, roughly a month before Rising lifted the USL Championship trophy, New Mexico hasn't had the same luck on the road in 2024. United was outshot 39-16 in its two losses outside of New Mexico this season. Within state lines, United won its only match, 1-0 vs. Pittsburgh on March 9. In that game, New Mexico completed 639 passes, held a 67-33 edge in possession and got a 44th minute goal from former Rising forward Greg Hurst to pick up the win vs. the defending regular season champs.

"Greg is a good player," said Stone. "I look forward to seeing him this weekend. He has shown again the quality he has... beginning the season as the nine for a very good team. That speaks to his quality and we know that. I only have good things to say about Greg. This weekend, I look forward to saying hello to him, giving him a pat on the back and then competing against him."

• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...

United Soccer League Championship Stories from March 28, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Phoenix Rising FC Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central