PHOENIX, Arizona (Sunday, May 15) – Phoenix Rising FC lost, 5-1, tonight to Tampa Bay at Wild Horse Pass.
Luis Seijas scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the loss. Phoenix travels to New Mexico next Saturday, May 21. That match is set to kick off at 6 p.m. on Bally Sports Arizona and ESPN+. Rising’s next home match is set for Saturday, June 4.
Phoenix took a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute tonight when Joey Calistri gathered a loose ball on the left flank and chipped it up the sideline for Santi Moar. Moar ran at goal and poked a short pass through to Arturo Rodriguez, who had made a run down the left side of the box. The midfielder took a touch before setting the table for Luis Seijas to finish off the chance in the center of the six-yard box.
Tampa fired back in the 24th minute after Rising turned the ball over in its own end. Leo Fernandes and Jake LaCava combined nicely at the top of the box to spring the latter in on goal. LaCava took and touch and fired a waist-high shot between Rising goalkeeper Ben Lundt and the near post to make it 1-1.
Rodriguez had a great chance created by more interplay between Flood and Moar on the left flank in the 33rd minute. Phoenix’s No. 10 volleyed the shot on goal from close range, but his first touch shot went directly at Tampa goalkeeper CJ Cochran, who made the save.
Tampa took a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute when the Rowdies won the ball and played three crisp passes through midfield. Lewis Hamilton found the ball in space. He picked up his head and played a ball in-behind Rising’s back line for Dayonn Harris. The winger arrived at the perfect time to chip a shot over the head of Lundt and make it 2-1 in favor of Tampa Bay.
The Rowdies Jake Areman increased the lead to 3-1 just before halftime when a promising play up the right flank for Rising was cut off and turned into a quick counterattack. Areman pushed the ball forward to LaCava, who sprinted down the pitch. Areman followed the play and was rewarded when LaCava slid the ball to him inside the area. Areman picked out the far corner of the net and beat Lundt with a low shot to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
Just after the break, Tampa took a 4-1 lead when Steevan DosSantos took a shot from a bad angle while trying to save the ball from going over the endline. Tracking back to cover the net after Lundt came off his line to deal with DosSantos, Haugli had the ball deflect off him and end up in the back of the net for an own goal.
A second own goal by Rising made it 5-1 in the 68th minute and center back Joe Farrell was shown his second caution of the match a minute later to reduce Phoenix to 10-men for the rest of the game.
PHX – Luis Seijas 15
TB – Jake LaCava 24
TB – Dayonn Harris (Lewis Hamilton) 36
TB – Jake Areman (Jake LaCava) 45+3
TB – own goal (Sivert Haugli) 47
TB – own goal (Ryan Flood) 68
PHX – Joe Farrell (caution) 39
TB – Dayonn Harris (caution) 41
TB – Lewis Hilton (caution) 59
PHX – Joe Farrell (caution) 69
PHX – Joe Farrell (ejection) 69
Phoenix Rising FC – Ben Lundt, Ryan Flood, Sivert Haugli, Joe Farrell, Darnell King (Marcus Epps 54), Arturo Rodriguez (Jacob Harris 75), Luis Seijas, Manuel Madrid (Carlos Anguiano 54), Joey Calistri, Santi Moar (Richmond Antwi 75), Greg Hurst (Claudio Repetto 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Delgado, Jonathan Levin.
Tampa Bay Rowdies – CJ Cochran, Jordan Scarlett, Laurence Wyke, Aaron Guillen, Dayonn Harris (Sebastian Dalgaard 44), Lewis Hilton, Yann Ekra, Jake Areman (Sebastian Guenzatti 45), Leo Fernandes, Steevan Dos Santos (Lucky Mkosana 79), Jake Lacava (Juan Tejada 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Raiko Arozarena, Tim Mehl, Kyle Greig.
Rising head coach Rick Schantz
General thoughts on the match…
We started well. We have a lot of injuries. Once we scored a goal, we got too passive. Look, we played a good team that has had a week off. We knew that Tampa plays with two up front usually so we wanted to close the middle and press. It was fantastic at the beginning, but you can’t play for only 10 minutes. We have to look at the film. We had a lot of individual mistakes. We made four bad turnovers and they scored four goals off them. I told the team they need to hold their heads up and be humbled. Thank the fans that came out here. The display we gave them was not good enough. We have a lot of figuring out to do right now.