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 Phoenix Rising FC

Phoenix Rising vs. Miami FC, Saturday at 7:30

May 16, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Phoenix Rising FC News Release

Phoenix Rising FC hosts Miami FC this Saturday, May 18 for School's Out night at 38th St./Washington. The match will also be broadcast live on Arizona's Family Sports at 7:30 p.m.

Miami FC comes into the match after falling, 3-1, at home to Indy Eleven on Sunday, May 12.

"Miami have good pieces," said Rising head coach Danny Stone. "They're a difficult opponent with good players. We've seen that a lot in the attacking side of their game. If you give them space and time... Allow them opportunities to threaten the goal, they will do that. They have a style, philosophy and identity they play consistently. Do not for a moment underestimate the opponent coming to Phoenix this weekend. This will be a difficult game, just as every game in this league is now."

That being said, Miami FC has yet to win an away match, falling in Hartford (3-2 on April 6) and Pittsburgh (1-0 on May 4) while drawing 2-2 in Orange County on March 23. Miami has scored 1.2 goals per game this season and Rising regained the defensive form it established in the first four games of the season (0.75 GA) recently, having allowed just one goal in each of its last four matches across all competitions.

On offense, Phoenix continues to take steps forward. After beginning the season with just one goal in its first four games, Rising has not been held without a goal since March 30 (seven games).

"It's something that only comes with time," said Stone. "It comes with work. It comes with training and thought. When they walk onto that pitch, [the players are] the ones that have to play with each other. They have to know each other and get the best out of each other."

Miami has given up 1.9 goals per game, which feels like the perfect matchup for Rising's offense to ignite in 2024, but teams visiting Phoenix typically focus on a full team defensive effort.

"[A low block] is a difficult thing to break down," said Stone. "The reality is, between the ball and the goal, there are a lot of players. They compact a lot of space. Teams will come here and do that consistently. It's a difficult thing to break down because they're taking away space. Players need to be able to operate in tighter spaces with less time."

"It comes down to individuals producing a moment of quality," concluded Stone. "Put the team on their back a little bit and say 'I'll be the one that takes responsibility here.' I always feel we have 11 players on the field at any moment that are comfortable taking that responsibility. It's production in the moments that matter that makes the difference."

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