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Phoenix Rising FC Draws Vegas, 0-0, in Preseason Action

February 25, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Phoenix Rising FC News Release

PHOENIX, Arizona - Phoenix Rising FC drew Las Vegas Lights FC, 0-0, in a preseason friendly tonight at Phoenix Rising FC Stadium.

Rising opens its regular season at home in two weeks, a Saturday, March 9 matchup against Birmingham Legion FC (7:30 p.m.).

Tonight, Head coach Danny Stone sent out a mix of six returning players and five offseason additions to start the match. Defending NCAA Champion Pape Mar Boye showed athleticism and composure during his first half in front of goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo, who recently returned from international duty with Argentina's Olympic squad. The duo, along with returning center midfielders Renzo Zambrano and Jose Andres Hernandez and reinforcement defenders Laurence Wyke and JP Scearce held Vegas scoreless through the first 45 minutes of play, in large part due to a full-extension diving save by Rios Novo near the 40th minute.

Rising increased its time of possession and created more offensive opportunities in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but once again, the story was Rios Novo. The goalkeeper made a diving save to his left side and then absorbed a hard shot from distance in a 30-second span around the 55th minute.

John Stenberg made his return to live action in the 65th minute, subbing on for JP Scearce.

The starters all exited the match in the 80th minute as the squad continues to build towards 90 minutes of fitness.

"It was a tough game but a good preseason friendly," said Rising Head Coach Danny Stone following the match. "A competitive game, I thought we improved in the second half. I was pleased with the adaptations we made at halftime. Credit to Vegas, they played well in the first half. We got stronger as the game went forward. It's another really good preseason test for us. It was exactly the kind of test we needed heading into the final weeks of preseason."






Phoenix Rising FC - Rocco Rios Novo, Wyke, Pape Mar Boye, JP Scearce (John Stenberg 65), Edguardo Rito, Gabi Torres, Jose Andres Hernandez, Renzo Zambrano, Emil Cuello, Darius Formella, Remi Cabral.

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