Phoenix Rising FC is 1-3-0 on the road in 2017. (Michael Rincon/PHXRisingFC.com)
PHOENIX (June 17, 2017) — Phoenix Rising FC (5-5-0) heads back on the road this Sunday, June 18, as they head to the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City to take on Swope Park Rangers (5-4-1).
Fans can head to the club’s official watch party at the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill in Tempe Marketplace (2000 East Rio Salado Parkway #1041, Tempe, AZ 85281). Fans can also watch the match live locally on YurView Arizona Cox Channels 7 & 1007 (HD) or online at PHXRisingFC.com.
With about one-third of the USL season gone, Rising FC sit just a spot outside of a playoff position in the standings, tied with Tulsa Roughnecks FC in points, but trailing them in the first tie breaker (goals scored).
Forward Didier Drogba made a stellar club debut last Saturday, scoring a goal and notching an assist to lead Phoenix Rising FC to a 2-1 victory over Whitecaps FC 2. The night also marked the first game for new head coach Patrice Carteron, as well as the debut for defender Amadou Dia, who earned USL Team of the Week honors for his performance against Whitecaps FC 2.
Phoenix Rising FC will be looking to repeat their previous result against Swope Park, a 4-3 home win back on April 23. That night, Rising FC jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to goals from Alessandro Riggi, Luke Rooney, Chris Cortez, and Peter Ramage. However, a 78th minute Kody Wakasa red card allowed Swope Park back into the game. Kevin Oliveira scored twice and Christian Duke tacked on a stoppage-time goal of his own to bring the Rangers within one, but the visitors couldn’t find an equalizer before the final whistle.
More recently, Swope Park have relied on a stout defense to reach 7th place in the Western Conference standings. The Rangers haven’t conceded more than one goal in a game since April 29, a stretch of five matches.
Offensively, Swope Park are led by forward Kharlton Belmar who has scored a team-high four goals in 10 league appearances. Duke leads the team in chances created with 12. In net, Swope Park have used the goalkeeper trio of Adrian Zendejas, Andrew Dykstra, and David Grezcek, with each having collected one clean sheet this year.
Sunday’s trip will be Phoenix Rising FC’s first away meeting with Swope Park in its club history. Overall, the two teams have faced one another twice, including Phoenix’s win earlier this year and a 1-1 draw back in July 2016.
Game 11 – Swope Park Rangers vs. Phoenix Rising FC
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m.
Stadium: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, KS)
Phoenix Rising FC: 5-5-0, 15 pts
Swope Park Rangers: 5-4-1, 16 pts
All-time Series: Phoenix Rising FC is 1-0-1 in its all-time series with Swope Park Rangers. This will be the first time Phoenix Rising will travel to Swope Park.
About Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC is the highest-level professional soccer franchise in Arizona’s history. Legendary Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, Kona Grill CEO Berke Bakay and an impressive collection of business leaders and international celebrities, own the club. Established in 2013, Phoenix Rising FC enters its fourth year in the United Soccer League, which has been awarded Division 2 status by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Major League Soccer (MLS) recently announced Phoenix Rising FC as among 12 applicants being considered fora MLS Expansion Franchise. Phoenix Rising FC sold-out all six home matches played so far during the 2017 USL season with standing room only crowds in its new, soccer-specific stadium located at the northwest corner of the 101 and 202 freeways in south Scottsdale.
For more information about the club, visit the team's website at PhxRisingFC.com. You can also follow the team on Facebook (PHXRisingFC), Twitter (@PHXRisingFC), Instagram (@PHXRisingFC), Snapchat (PHXRisingFC) and YouTube (PhoenixRisingFootballClub). For season tickets or single-game tickets call (623) 594-9606 or visit PHXRisingFC.com.
The USL is the world’s largest Division II professional soccer league, with 30 markets in 20 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces for the 2017 season. In total, the USL reaches a population of 75 million people, fueling the growth of professional soccer across North America.
In 2016, more than $100 million were invested league-wide into stadium infrastructure to create venues that deliver an unforgettable fan and competitor experience. The USL has national media partnerships with ESPN and SiriusXM, and recently invested $10 million to create USL Productions – which includes a state-of-the-art facility that will produce and distribute nearly 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates, USL’s Match Center and international markets.
A growing league, the USL has more than doubled in size since 2014, with Ottawa Fury FC, Reno 1868 FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies debuting in 2017. Nashville SC is the first club set to join the league for 2018. Beyond league play, the USL regularly features international exhibitions against leading Premier League, Liga MX, and Bundesliga clubs, among others.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship. Follow the USL at USLSoccer.com, the USL Match Center, and on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.