Phoenix Rising FC Sets out on Two-Match, One-Week Road Trip
Phoenix Rising FC heads back on the road for a two-match, one-week swing that begins on Tuesday, August 27, against Tacoma Defiance. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. and will air on Your PHX CW (channel 6 on cable and 61.1 on satellite & over-the-air) as well as ArizonaSports.com.
Rising FC has been in historic form this season. The club goes into the road trip riding a 15-match winning streak, which matches the longest winning streak in American professional soccer history, held by MLS side LA Galaxy. But Phoenix Rising's streak is the only one to take place within a single season (the Galaxy's record-setting streak stretched over the final six games of the 1997 season and into the first nine matches of the 1998 season). Within that streak, the club has also won six straight matches on the road, which is also a USL Championship record.
Phoenix Rising won its 15th-straight match of the season following a thrilling 2-1 win over Sacramento Republic FC in front of a 16th-consecutive sellout crowd at Casino Arizona Field. After a defensive miscue allowed Republic FC to take a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the match, Phoenix Rising equalized in the 7th minute thanks to a Sacramento own goal. Defender Joey Farrell tallied the game-winner in the 44th minute.
In the process of winning, Rising FC also broke the club record for most goals (64) scored in a single season. The previous record (63) was set last season.
Tacoma Defiance's recent form has been up and down. The club has alternated wins and losses en route to a 2-3-0 record in its last five matches. Last Saturday the club was shutout on the road at El Paso, 2-0. The week prior, the last time Tacoma played at home, the Defiance scraped out a 2-1 win over Orange County thanks to goals from Shandon Hopeau and Marlon Vargas.
The pair of clubs last met in Phoenix on April 20, a 4-0 Rising FC win.
The club will be hosting two official watch parties for the match. One will be at Crown Public House in Phoenix and the other will be held at Vine Tavern and Grill on Elliot Road in Tempe.
This will be the 10th all-time meeting between the two cubs with PHX's all-time record being 7-2-0.
PHX has won the last five games of the series.
A Little Bit About Tacoma Defiance
The club's leading scorer is Justin Dhillon with seven goals in 16 appearances, followed by Shandon Hopeau with three goals.
Azriel Gonzalez leads the team in assists with two.
Tacoma is 4-5-2 at home this season.
Tacoma is last in USL Championship in goal differential (-35).
A Little Bit About Phoenix Rising
Per Opta, the team's 7.1 team rating is tops in USL Championship.
PHX has outscored opponents 49-12 during its 15-match winning streak.
PHX has scored three or more goals in 14 of its last 24 matches.
PHX's 64 goals scored is tied for tops in USL Championship with NY Red Bulls II.
Solomon Asante leads all of USL Championship in goals (18) and assists (12).
Zac Lubin leads the league in clean sheets (11).
Per Opta, Asante has the best average player rating at 8.27. He's the only player currently above 8. PHX has two of the top four rated players in the league (Asante and Flemmings).
Per Opta, Asante leads the league in shots on target per match (2) and is tied for second in chances created (15).
The Unbeaten Legend Grows
Rising FC is now 14-0-0 on $1 Beer Night.
$1 Beer Goals, Goals, Goals
Over 14 $1 Beer Night matches, the club has scored 46 goals for an average of 3.29 goals per game on $1 Beer Night.
Spreading The Wealth
During Phoenix Rising's 15-match winning streak, 12 different players have scored goals: Solomon Asante, José Aguinaga, Jon Bakero, Joey Calistri, Amadou Dia, Mustapha Dumbuya, Joey Farrell, Junior Flemmings, Adam Jahn, Kevon Lambert, James Musa, and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu. On the season, 14 different players have scored a goal. The club record for most players to score in a season is 17, set in 2017.
Protecting the house
Phoenix Rising is unbeaten at home this year with 10 wins and three draws. They are one of three teams in USL Championship still unbeaten at home, joining Indy Eleven and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
Not only is Phoenix Rising tied for leading USL championship in goals (64), but the club's goal differential is also the best in the league by a wide margin. The club currently has a +41 goal differential, 8 goals better than the next highest total.
Win, Win, Win, No Matter What...
Phoenix Rising collected its 17th win of the season on August 23rd. The club is now just two wins away from matching a club record for wins in a season. And with ten matches remaining on the schedule, the club is also within striking distance of the USL Championship record for wins in a season (23), set by FC Cincinnati last season.
Phoenix Rising spent most of the season well ahead of its 2018 record-breaking goal-scoring pace. On August 23rd, the team finally broke its single-season record for most goals in a season with its 64th goal of the year. Now the club has an opportunity to break the USL Championship record for team goals in a season (72), set by FC Cincinnati last season.
Tracking ahead of pace
Through the first 24 matches of the season, Phoenix Rising has 56 points. In 2018, the club had 44 points through the first 24 matches of the season en route to setting a club record for points in a season.
Iron Man Watch
Defender Amadou Dia remains the club's minutes leader with 1,980 minutes played. He's followed by Solomon Asante (1,964), Adam Jahn (1,912), Zac Lubin (1,890), and Mustapha Dumbuya (1,693) to round out the top five. 13 players total have logged 1,000 or more minutes this season.
Heading into Tuesday's match, Phoenix Rising's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is five points. With a win over Tacoma, the club could potentially clinch a playoff spot as early as Saturday, August 31st in Colorado Springs.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from August 26, 2019
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