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Phoenix Rising Hosts Pittsburgh, Saturday at 7:30

April 18, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Phoenix Rising FC News Release

Phoenix Rising FC hosts Pittsburgh Riverhounds this Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. during Military Appreciation Night.

The matchup features the defending USL Regular Season Champions, traveling to Phoenix to face the defending USL Champions in Arizona for the first time since August 16, 2014.

"We played them in Pittsburgh last season," said Rising head coach Danny Stone. "We had a very tough test in a close game. We're looking forward to hosting them here in Phoenix. We know we're in for a difficult match. We expect the game to be combative. We expect it to be physically demanding. Pittsburgh always makes sure no one gets anything for free. Teams earn everything they get against Pittsburgh. We've seen this from them regardless of results. We will be making sure they don't get anything for free either."

Goals will be at a premium in Saturday's contest. Pittsburgh has earned consecutive shutouts coming into this game, while Phoenix is allowing just 0.50 goals against at home this season. Rocco Rios Novo earned his second clean sheet of the season last match, a milestone the team did not reach until July 1 last season.

"They defend very resiliently with a back five," said Stone. "They defend their box with a lot of pride. Going forward they have athleticism and the ability to run into space on the front line. You might describe them as a fairly vertical team, but they also don't get a lot of credit for the passages of play they do produce in the attacking half."

Like the Colorado side Phoenix faced last week, Pittsburgh has produced just one goal this season.

"By no means are we taking the fact they have not scored as many goals as they would have liked to lightly," said Stone. "We did not against Colorado either. It's the same as teams might say watching us, we could and maybe should have scored more goals than we have. I would say the same thing about Pittsburgh. We've seen the way they play. We know the way they work as a team. This is a club that is well versed in being successful in this league. Regardless of how many goals they scored this season, it really doesn't change our mindset heading into Saturday."

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