Phoenix Rising Looks to Continue Unbeaten Start to Season
What You Need To Know
Phoenix Rising comes off its first win of 2019, a 2-0 shutout of El Paso Locomotive FC
This is the third and final time Rising FC will face a new USL Opponent for the first time. The club is 1-0-1 in its previous two matches against USL Championship debutants.
Phoenix Rising is 2-0-3 in its last five matches in April
Wednesday, April 17 -- at Austin Bold FC, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 -- vs. Tacoma Defiance FC, 7:30 p.m.
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Phoenix Rising finishes its two-match Texas swing in Austin, Texas, for its first-ever matchup against Austin Bold FC on Wednesday, April 17. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 5:30 p.m. and fans can watch the match at one of two official watch parties: Pig & Pickle in Scottsdale and Brass Tap in downtown Gilbert.
In its first match in the Lone Star State, Phoenix Rising shutout El Paso Locomotive, 2-0, for its first win of 2019. Junior Flemmings scored his second goal of the season in the 7th minute after the Locomotive FC goalkeeper slipped and fell while trying to play a ball from defender A.J. Cochran. With the ball rolling past the fallen keeper, Flemmings had an open net to score and make it, 1-0. Forward Ben Spencer added an insurance goal in the 77th minute for his first goal of the season and was assisted by Solomon Asante, who now has a team-leading three assists in 2019.
The win in the club's fifth match of the season is deepest into the season Phoenix Rising notched its first win of the season. The three points pushed Phoenix Rising up in the standings from 17th to 14th in the Western Conference. With a win on Wednesday night, the club would jump to 5th place.
A Little Bit About Austin Bold FC
In its last match on April 6, Bold FC fell at Sacramento Republic FC, 1-0 after giving up the match-winning goal in the 85th minute.
Bold FC has struggled offensively in 2019. The club has scored just two goals in its first four matches which is second-worst in USL Championship. Its 44 shots taken is third-worst in USL Championship and the team's 66% passing accuracy is second-worst in USL Championship
Bold FC has also not given up many goals. It's three goals allowed in four matches is tied for the second fewest in USL Championship. The club's two clean sheets match Rising FC's total.
On April 2, Bold FC midfielder Xavier Baez became the first player in club history to be named to the USL Team of the Week.
Bold FC forward Kleber Giacomazzi has scored both of the franchise's goals. He has the distinction of scoring the first-ever goal in franchise history and the first-ever goal at Bold Stadium.
A Little Bit About Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising's defense comes off its best performance of the season with 22 tackles (second-highest total in 2019), a 90.9% tackle success rate and 18 clearances (both season highs).
Phoenix Rising's 2-0 win over El Paso Locomotive was the club's 70th win all time.
Phoenix Rising's win extends the club record for most consecutive matches to start a season without a loss to five. The previous record had been three.
With a win, Rising FC's 10 points in the season's first six matches would be just one point less than what the club had following the first six matches of 2018. The club set a record for most points in a season in 2018.
Phoenix Rising is 2-0-3 in its last five matches in April.
Phoenix Rising has played a total of eight matches in Texas, going 2-4-2 in those matches.
Solomon Asante and Amadou Dia enter the match tied with the longest active consecutive starts streak (10)
First time for everything part III
Austin Bold FC will be the 32nd different USL Championship club Rising FC has faced. In its previous 31 first-ever meetings, the team is 12-12-7. Rising FC's 2-0 win over El Paso Locomotive on April 13, 2019, was the last time Rising won its first-ever match against another club.
Record-breaking goal pace
Rising's ten goals through the first five matches of the season is ahead of the record-setting goal pace the club set last year. The club had scored just seven goals in its first five matches in 2018.
Iron Man Watch
After five matches, defender Amadou Dia is the last player to have played in every minute of the season (450 minutes). The next two players in minutes played, Solomon Asante (442) and Adam Jahn (428), have also started all five matches the club has played in 2019.
Following the club's first win of 2019, Phoenix Rising extended its club-record unbeaten streak to start a season to five matches. But the team still has some work to do to match the club record for the longest unbeaten streak. In 2017, the team went unbeaten in 11 straight matches from August 5 to September 27, going 8-0-3 in that stretch. With a win or draw, the team will match its second-longest unbeaten streak (six matches) which has happened three times in team history.
Clean sheet streak
Zac Lubin notched his second consecutive clean sheet of 2019 and hasn't allowed a goal in 180 minutes. The last time a goalkeeper strung together back to back clean sheets was Carl Woszczynski on September 29 and October 6 of last season (a 2-0 win over Saint Louis FC and a 0-0 draw with Reno 1868 FC)
Welcome back to Austin
While this will be Rising FC's first match against Austin Bold FC, it will not be the first time the club has played a team from Austin. The team (then known as Arizona United SC) played four matches against former USL Championship franchise Austin Aztex in 2015. Rising FC's record in the series was 2-2-0. The team's last match in Austin took place on July 17, 2015, a 4-1 loss.
For the first time in 2019, Rising FC is playing on a short turnaround (four days or less). In 2018, Rising FC played ten matches on a short turnaround and went 7-3-0 in those matches.
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