Head coach Patrice Carteron looks on has his club takes on Orange County Soccer Club. (Nik Pennington/PHXRisingFC.com)
PHOENIX (July 15, 2017) – Phoenix Rising FC will look to extend a club-best five-match unbeaten streak when they return to the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, July 15. The match will kickoff at 8 p.m. and gates will open at 6:30 p.m. The first 1,000 fans who arrive will receive a free Italian ice from Angelo's Italian Ice & Gelato.
Tickets for the match are still available and can be purchased at www.PHXRisingFC.com. Fans can also watch the match live locally on YurView Arizona Cox Channels 4 & 1004 (HD) in Phoenix, channels 7 & 1007 in Tucson, or online at www.PHXRisingFC.com.
Rising FC (5-5-4) have not lost since the introduction of new head coach Patrice Carteron and forward Didier Drogba, as the latter scored a game-tying free kick in stoppage time last weekend to earn a point for Phoenix in a 1-1 draw at Orange County SC.
During that unbeaten run, Rising FC has drawn in four-straight matches with the lone win coming in Drogba’s and Carteron’s debut on June 24, a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Entering this weekend’s match, the club sits two points and two places out of the Western Conference’s top eight playoff positions.
Colorado Springs (6-6-6), who have four more games played than Rising FC, enter Saturday’s match positioned sixth in the standings. Switchbacks FC also drew their last game, overturning an early two-goal deficit at home en route to a 2-2 finish with Whitecaps FC 2.
Switchbacks FC’s last win also came on June 24, when they knocked off San Antonio FC 1-0 at home. Each of Colorado Springs’ last three games have been at their home stadium, Weidner Field; the club went 1-1-1 during that home stand, losing the middle fixture 1-0 to Rio Grande Valley FC.
Colorado Springs midfielder Masta Kacher leads the Switchbacks with five goals, finishing all five of them with his right foot. Saturday’s visitors have also received solid contributions from forward Kevaughn Frater and defender Jordan Burt, who are both tied for the second-most goals on the team with four. Along with defender Josh Suggs, Frater and Kacher also top the team’s assist list with three helpers each this year.
The two clubs will also enter Saturday with two of the league’s best goalkeepers. Phoenix’s Josh Cohen has conceded just one goal from open play in his last five starts, and has made the third most saves in the Western Conference, 38, in 2017. Meanwhile, Switchbacks FC keeper Moise Poutay has recorded four clean sheets and 51 saves this season, good for third- and second-most respectively in the conference.
While Saturday will be the first meeting between the two sides this year, the series’ history has been dominated by Colorado Springs, who have won all four previous matchups. Last season, Switchbacks FC won 3-1 in their lone trip to Arizona, despite having a player sent off in the second half. Colorado Springs are the only team in the Western Conference Rising FC hasn’t earned a point against in club history.
Game 15 – Phoenix Rising FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Stadium: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
All-time Series: Phoenix Rising is 0-4-0 all time against Colorado Springs Switchbacks